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Singapore central bank explains why Binance was on its alert list, but FTX wasn’t

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, released a statement Nov. 21 to address “some questions and misconceptions that have arisen in the wake of the (FTX) debacle.” The first point MAS wanted to make was that it could not protect local users from the fallout from FTX collapse “such as by ringfencing their assets or ensuring that FTX backed its assets with reserves” because “FTX is not licensed by MAS and operates offshore.

MAS has consistently warned about the dangers of dealing with unregulated entities.” Yet it was Binance that ended up on the MAS Investor Alert List.

That was because Binance, unlike FTX, was actively targeting users in Singapore with offerings denominated in Singapore dollars and payment options through local transmitters.

MAS noted that it had received “several” complaints about Binance between January and August 2021. MAS made Binance stop soliciting Singaporean users and to take several measures to show its compliance, such as geo-blocking local IP addresses.

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