Singapore regulator says FTX doesn't operate in the city-state

Quick Take

  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore clarified that collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX does not operate in the country.
  • The regulator did note that it was unable to prevent Singaporean users from accessing overseas service providers, such as FTX. 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, the city-state's central bank and financial regulator, clarified that FTX — which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection — does not operate in the country. 

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said today, in response to media queries, that does not operate in Singapore," it said in an email statement, which added: " is neither licensed nor exempted from licensing in Singapore." 

The regulator conceded, however, that it was unable to prevent Singapore users from directly accessing overseas service providers — meaning that the exchange could onboard some users from the country. 

The email also dealt with speculation that by banning FTX, the authority inadvertently encouraged users to invest via the platform. "Binance was not banned from operating in Singapore," it said in a statement, adding: "Binance did not have the requisite license to solicit customers from Singapore and had to cease doing so. It would not be meaningful for MAS to list all unlicensed entities on the IAL. MAS did not have cause to list FTX on the same basis as Binance. "

The regulator also says that the license for FTX's Singaporean subsidiary, Quoine, is currently under review in light of recent events. It stresses that the funds of Singaporean investors are not parked under Quoine as it operates as a separate legal entity. 

This follows other regulators in the Asian region taking action against the exchange. On Thursday, Japan's financial regulator ordered its Japanese subsidiary to suspend operations. 

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