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The Independent Cryptocurrency Exchange Reserve wants Singapore to lift its ban on cryptocurrency advertising, calling instead for a regulatory framework that “actually protects” consumers. The country’s central bank, meanwhile, dismissed suggestions that it could have done more to protect investors amid the FTX debacle.

Pointing to recent FTX collapseIndependent Reserve said “urgent and practical regulatory action” was needed to protect cryptocurrency investors in singapore. Specifically, it required licensed market participants to be able to advertise their services and communicate with the public.

Founded in Australia in 2013, the fintech company later expanded to Singapore where it has obtained a major payment institution license to provide digital payment token services in October last year. It offers crypto trading pairs in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and US dollars.

Independent Reserve CEO Adrian Przelozny said in a statement on Tuesday, “The FTX situation has been a major setback for the entire industry. It highlights the need for greater transparency and accountability, and a regulatory framework that genuinely protects consumers.

“Silence hurts consumers the most,” Przelozny said. “It is imperative that we look at practical measures to ensure that we are able to communicate responsibly with investors in Singapore as a licensed and regulated exchange. This will prevent investors from being exposed to and trading with unlicensed entities, and will avoid a potential repeat of the recent FTX events.”

Singapore in January introduced guidelines that prohibited market players marketing or advertising their services in public spaces, for example through advertisements on websites, social media and public transport. Promotional banners or contextual advertisements, for example, may not be used to promote digital payment tokens or cryptocurrency services.

Independent Reserve said the marketing ban exposed consumers to crypto scams and unregulated exchanges as potential investors would turn to search engines, forums and social media as alternative resources.

Allowing regulated market participants to directly engage local consumers will educate investors about safer options for investors genuinely interested in cryptocurrency, he added.

The fintech company said it saw its customer accounts more than double month-over-month as FTX users in Singapore raced to find safer crypto depositories. This indicated continued interest and investment, despite currency volatility and the current state of the market.

“No protection” for cryptocurrency customers

Meanwhile, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday released another statement regarding the collapse of FTX, pointing out that it was not impossible to protect local users amid the debacle – for example, through asset ring-fencing – since crypto exchange was not allowed in the country and had operated overseas.

The industry regulator also responded to suggestions that it should have put FTX on the investor alert list, as it did for fellow crypto exchange Binance.

MAS said, “Although Binance and FTX are not licensed here, there is a clear difference between the two: Binance was actively soliciting users in Singapore, while FTX was not.”

Binance also offered Singapore dollar listings and accepted Singapore-specific payment methods, such as PayNow, the regulator said. He noted that he had received several complaints filed against Binance between January and August last year and that other jurisdictions, including Japan, the UK and Thailand, had cited Binance for unauthorized solicitation of customers. .

MAS said there was no evidence that FTX solicited users from Singapore and that transactions on the crypto exchange could not be processed in Singapore dollars, although its services are still accessible online through local users.

Binance had measures in place to comply with MAS’ instructions to stop soliciting Singapore users, including removing its mobile app from local app stores and geo-blocking local IP addresses.

It was also not possible to provide information and list all offshore crypto exchanges, such as FTX, on the country’s investor alert list, MAS said. He added that the list served to warn the public about entities that might be wrongly assumed to be regulated by MAS.

FTX’s collapse has served as a reminder that trading cryptocurrencies, on any platform, is “dangerous”, the Singapore regulator has said.

“Crypto exchanges can and do fail. Even if a crypto exchange is licensed in Singapore, it would currently only be regulated to address money laundering risks, not to protect investors,” MAS said, adding that this framework is currently adopted by most countries. jurisdictions.

“Even if a crypto exchange is well run, cryptocurrencies themselves are very volatile and many of them have lost all value,” he said. “The current turmoil in the crypto industry reminds us of the enormous risks involved in trading cryptocurrencies. There is no protection for clients who trade in cryptocurrencies. They can lose all their money.”

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