Singapore is open to innovation in digital assets, but not crypto speculation DPM Wong

Singapore is open to innovation in digital assets, but not crypto speculation DPM Wong

Singapore: Singapore is open to digital asset innovation but not at all open to crypto speculation, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said on Thursday. 

A strong stance against such speculation, particularly trading by retail investors, he told Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum. 

Capital markets, markets, cross-border payments, and settlements,” he said. Although some have criticised us for saying it, “we have to take a tough stance on cryptocurrencies,” the statement continued. Trading and speculation, particularly by individual investors.

John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News, who moderated the discussion, asked Mr. Wong about Singapore’s opening up to digital currencies following the collapse of cryptocurrency firm FTX.

As Mr. Wong said, “Even before FTX, we had published a consultation paper to tighten regulation around this aspect: cryptocurrency trading, retail investor access to cryptocurrencies.

“We will revise the rules as necessary. But we will continue to embrace innovation around digital assets, which we believe has tremendous potential.” 

His comments come after Singaporean investment firm Temasek announced on Thursday that it will cancel its $275 million (S$377 million) U.S. investment in FTX, regardless of the outcome of FTX’s bankruptcy filing, and that it had lost its confidence in Mr. Bankman-Fried’s leadership.

Mr. Wong responded, “partially,” when asked if the demise of FTX represented a necessary restructuring for the cryptocurrency sector and a stage in the market’s development. However, there are very serious allegations of “this level of possible fraud” in the case of FTX. Since it covers so many topics, it is not just your government. We must wait to see how the investigation turns out. But there was a tiny bubble, and now there are tremors as well.

In the interview, Mr. Wong was also asked about US-China relations following Monday’s meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden. They wanted their countries to work together to ease tensions, deal with issues, and avoid conflict. 

He noted that the leaders had an important and constructive meeting but added that it was “only the beginning of a long and difficult journey.” “We should have no illusions that this meeting will have changed anything,” he said.

Things happen overnight because of the deep mistrust that built up over many years. While both sides have made it clear that they do not want conflict and want to deal with differences, the fundamental differences have not changed, Wong said. “The United States regards China as its strategic rival, and it has been very clear that it does not want just a technological advantage of a frontier or two, but an absolute advantage to the greatest extent possible.”

And the more the United States moves in that direction, the more China will feel, “Well, they’re just trying to keep me down permanently, to hold me back, and that’s going to evoke a reaction,” he said. “So, the risk of moving towards a more bifurcated and Balkanized world remains.” Mr. Wong also hoped the two countries would deepen their interactions and develop guiding principles or guard rails so that both sides understood where each other’s red lines were.

When asked if the collapse of FTX was a necessary restructuring for the cryptocurrency industry and part of the market’s maturing process, Mr. Wong replied, “partially.” But in the case of FTX, there are very serious allegations of “this level of possible fraud.” So, it’s not just your government; it covers many topics. We need to see what happens with the investigation. But there was a little bubble, and now we’re also seeing some tremors. 

The interview also asked Mr. Wong about US-China relations after the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden on Monday. Countries to work together to reduce tension, address problems, and avoid conflict. He noted that the leaders had an important and constructive meeting but added that it was “only the beginning of a long and difficult journey.” 

“We should have no illusions that this meeting changed anything,” he said. Things happen overnight because deep mistrust has been built up over many years. Although they don’t want conflict and want to deal with differences, the fundamental differences haven’t changed, Wong said. 

“The United States views China as its strategic rival, and it was clear that China had, to the greatest extent possible, an absolute advantage over the United States, not just one or two cross-border technological advantages.” And China will feel more uneasy the more the US moves in that direction.

“Well, they’re just trying to keep me down permanently, to stop me, and that’s going to provoke a reaction,” he said. “So, the risk of moving towards a more bifurcated and Balkanized world remains.” Mr. Wong also hoped that the two countries would deepen their interactions and develop guiding principles or guard rails so that both sides would understand where each other’s red lines lie.

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