FTX case raised ‘serious allegations’ by Reuters

© Reuters. FROM FILE: Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong delivers the Singapore Energy Lecture during the 15th International Energy Week in Singapore on October 25, 2022. REUTERS/Isabel Kua

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s finance minister and deputy prime minister said Thursday that the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX has raised “very serious allegations amounting to possible fraud.”

Lawrence Wong said recent developments in the cryptocurrency market have reinforced the city-state’s stance that it is “on the right track” in focusing on digital asset innovation, but also takes a strong stance against cryptocurrency speculation and trading by retail investors.

FTX used to be one of the largest exchanges in the world but it has had a spectacular collapse in recent weeks and has filed for bankruptcy. A Reuters report has found that at least $1 billion in customer funds are missing at the failing crypto company.

FTX representatives did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said he expanded the business too quickly and failed to notice the red flags. He wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that his main goal was to “operate right by customers” and that he was meeting with regulators to that end.

Singapore is in the midst of tightening rules around retail cryptocurrency investing, such as not allowing exchanges to offer incentives for referrals.

Singapore government investor Temasek Holdings said it would write down its entire $275 million investment in FTX.

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