Singapore authority issues crypto warning after PM falls prey to scammers

Officials in Singapore have issued a notice to would-be Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency investors, warning them of the dangers of engaging with such a volatile market.

Notably, the warning comes just 48 hours after Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong had his likeness appropriated by a user on the BitClout social token platform, who used the PM’s name to sell tokens worth a near combined $10,000.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, warned of the inherent risks involved in speculating in the cryptocurrency space, asserting that their value was not tied to any underlying fundamentals. Shanmugaratnam said retail investors should stay away.

“Cryptocurrencies can be highly volatile, as their value is typically not related to any economic fundamentals. They are hence highly risky as investment products, and certainly not suitable for retail investors,” said Shanmugaratnam, as reported by BNN Bloomberg.

A couple of days earlier, Singaporean Prime Minister Loong warned citizens to remain vigilant when it comes to cryptocurrency investing after tokens were minted bearing his name, likeness and social media profile.

Bitcoin’s 1,000% growth in the past year has drawn out numerous government warnings such as those issued by Loong and Shanmugaratnam. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies more broadly are forcing regulators to take notice as their swelling market caps raise them out of “fringe asset” status and legitimize them in the eyes of investors.

Shanmugaratnam said the MAS would continue to monitor cryptocurrency developments closely and will attempt to keep up the regulatory pace as technological progress continues.

“The crypto assets space is constantly evolving. MAS has been closely monitoring developments and will continue to adapt its rules as needed to ensure that regulation remains effective and commensurate with the risks posed,” said Shanmugaratnam. “Investors, on their part, should exercise extreme caution when trading cryptocurrencies,” he added.

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