Singapore Central Bank Flags Website Promoting Bitcoin Scam

Singapore Central Bank Flags Website Promoting Bitcoin Scam


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, has issued a statement warning people about a website soliciting bitcoin investments that is using comments falsely attributed to Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the MAS chairman and Deputy Prime Minister.

The statements attributed to Tharman on the website are misleading and false, MAS noted, except for his statement that the country’s cryptocurrency trading is low.

The authority urges people to refrain from providing personal or financial information on the website, which encourages people to create a bitcoin account using a bank account or credit card.

Authority Takes Consistent Stance

MAS has noted previously that investing in cryptocurrencies is risky. On Dec. 19, 2017, the authority issued a notice about the risks associated with cryptocurrency. In response to a Parliamentary question on Feb. 5, 2018, Tharman said citizens could “lose their shirts” investing in cryptocurrencies.

The MAS urges people who are suspicious about an investment to contact law enforcement.

Singapore officials have stepped up their regulatory activity since last year, when the country became seen as a haven for cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs following China’s crackdown.

ICOs Draw Concern

In May, the MAS notified eight cryptocurrency trading platforms that it declined to name to become authorized before offering digital token trades for tokens constituting securities or digital tokens. The notice was issued at a time when the number of exchanges and token offerings both have been increasing in the country.

The MAS also halted an ICO at the time, claiming the issuer violated securities law after the central bank found the tokens represented equity ownership in a company and the offering did not have the required MAS registered prospectus.

Last November, the MAS issued a guide to digital token offerings while the central bank was reviewing if more regulations are needed to protect investors from the risk posed by cryptocurrencies.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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