Singapore stops crypto exchange due to dispute with K-pop group BTS


Singapores financial regulator has been reported to have been forced to suspend Bitget, a cryptocurrency exchange that is embroiled in a controversy with South Korea's biggest boyband, BTS.

Bitget has taken down the Monetary Authority Singapore logo on its website, the Guardian confirmed. Bitget still claims to have licenses that originate from Australia, Canada and the United States, according to its website.

According to an Financial Times report on Sunday, Bitget was suspended after it was involved in a highly-publicized controversy over the promotion of the cryptocurrency Army Coin that's named in honor of the BTS supporters, also called"the" BTS army.

On October 1, the website had been threatened with legal actions from the BTS Management Company, Hybe Corporation, for marketing Army Coin to traders using an unauthorised image of the band, and disseminating incorrect information that said the coin was created to benefit BTS and intended to increase the profits.

BTS set a record this year when they were named the global music artist of the year in 2020 by International Federation of the Phonographic Industry making them the first group to perform in a different language than English to be ranked first in the annual list.

In a statement made at this time Hybe declared that Army Coin did not have any connection to BTS and advised anyone who been impacted financially by Army Coin to file a report at the nearest police station.

We are currently looking into legal issues, such as the violation of an artist's portrait right, but without consulting with the company. If we find any violations, we will pursue all legal recourse against violations and infringements.

Established in Singapore in the year 2018, Bitget has a partnership with it's Italian soccer team Juventus it claims that they have over 1.5 million users across the globe. The company's website states that it was valued at over $1 billion (about PS760 million) in its most recent financing round.

The platform said that, as of November 30 the platform had 11,626 traders who were able to handle a 24 hour trading volume of $4 billion. It launched the first Turkish website on November 5.

The show demonstrates the transnational nature and complexity of digital currencies, and it comes in the context of how the Asian city state tries to become the world's most prominent digital currency center.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced last month that it was introducing strict regulations for businesses that deal with cryptocurrency. 

When it comes to crypto-related activities they are fundamentally an investment in the future that has a shape which isn't clear at the moment, said Ravi Menon, the managing director of MAS during an interview on Bloomberg.

He said: If we don't to participate in this game, I believe is a risk of Singapore becoming a distant second. The advantage of getting in early to the game will give us an advantage, and be able to better comprehend the potential benefits as well as the potential dangers.

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