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Singapore Regulators “Brutally” Bite Back Against Bad Crypto Behaviour

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Singapore regulators have vowed to be “brutal and unrelentingly hard” on bad crypto behaviour as local industry behemoths are facing their demise amid crypto winter.

In an interview with FT published on Thursday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said a state-backed alternative to private cryptos can be expected within three years.

“We have been called out by many cryptocurrencies for not being friendly,” he said on behalf of MAS. “My response has been: friendly for what? Friendly for a real economy or friendly for some unreal economy?”

“We have no tolerance for any market bad behaviour. If somebody has done a bad thing, we are brutal and unrelentingly hard.”

Since the collapse of LUNA last month, the wider crypto industry is suffering from contagion. Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital (3AC) saw the value of its LUNA position fall from US$559.6 million to US$670, and is now facing insolvency.

Read more: Crypto Contagion Spreads as Voyager Digital Reveals US$665M 3AC Exposure

Meanwhile Singapore’s Bybit is looking to reduce its labour force by 20–30%, following in the footsteps of, Coinbase and BlockFi – which cut 260, 1100 and 400 jobs respectively.

“I think the world at large is lost . . . in private currency, which is causing all this market turmoil,” said Mohanty, adding that the Little Red Dot enforced a “painfully slow” and “extremely draconian due diligence process” for licensing crypto businesses.

That said, announced yesterday that MAS granted the Singapore exchange an in-principle approval to deal in cryptocurrencies. Another two companies – Genesis and Sparrow Tech – also received provisional licences.

Read more: Following Job Cuts, Wins In-Principal License in Singapore