Singapore Residents Targeted in Crypto Scams, $78,000 Lost Between September and November

Members of the Singapore public have been targeted by the online advertisements of scammers posing as crypto brokerage services. The victims have been duped out of around $78,000 between September and November of 2018.
Familiar Scam Plagues Singapore Residents
According to a report in domestic news source The Straits Times, Singapore authorities have been made aware of several cases of fraud in relation to a cryptocurrency investment scheme. The scam is stated to have earned its perpetrators around $78,000 between the months of September and November of this year alone.
The platform, which goes unnamed in the report, is advertised online using numerous paid online advertisements posing as articles. They often feature celebrities from Singapore who are wholeheartedly endorsing the service and how lucrative it is. Of course, such scams have been tried before and are reminiscent of those using fake testimonials from the stars of Dragons’ Den and similar formats broadcast in other nations.
The articles direct visitors to other sites through links posted. These pages then encourage those following the hyperlinks to request a call back if they are interested in investing in Bitcoin. They also portray investments in Bitcoin as being incredibly secure, virtually risk free, and essentially a guarantee of future riches.
In a statement mentioned by the news report, the Singapore authorities said that the scheme was being operated from outside of the country and that it was entirely unregulated by its financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
This exposes investors to even greater risk of being swindled by such scams since they are being operated from outside of the regulator’s legal jurisdiction and legal recourse will be very difficult to initiate.
Individuals with any further information on this or any other similar scam are being encouraged to contact the Singapore authorities on a police hotline (1800-255-0000), or at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
Related Reading: Move over Twitter: Crypto Scams Have Infiltrated Facebook
Scammers Prey on Nation’s Embrace of Blockchain and Crypto
Whether the suspicions of the Singapore authorities that the scam is being run from outside the nation is true or not is unclear. However, one thing is certain, the fraudsters, if domestic or otherwise, have picked Singapore for its ever-growing interest in digital assets.
As a nation, Singapore has been keen to explore the implications of cryptocurrency and its underlying technology, blockchain. Earlier this year, NewsBTC reported on plans to create a multi-storey centre devoted to the fintech innovation, as well as regulators helping to incubate blockchain startups.
More recently, Asia’s monetary elites were privy to an extended conference devoted to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Forbes’s Asia wing sponsored the “Decrypting Blockchain for Business” event, which was held earlier this week.
It saw the likes of Changpeng Zhao of Binance and Tommy Lee of BTCC, amongst many other industry experts presenting on the opportunities, risks, and developments associated with the ever-expanding industry.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Singapore Firm, Temasek Set To Employ Blockchian And AI

AI and Blokchain technology are continued to evolve in a market. An investment firm called Temasek from Singapore is all set to explore Blockchain by setting up a new group named as “experimental pods”.
Temasek’s new announcement first appeared on October 1st at the Memo show when a spokesperson of the firm confirmed the content. In a recent report, Temasek sees Blockchain and AI as the most compelling technologies that will have a long-term impact on multiple industries. The new group will be led by Chia Song Hwee who is the present chief operating officer of Temasek International Pte.
Blockchain With AI is on Rise
Temasek based out in Singapore is known as the leading AI startup in the world. In the year 2018 alone, it has participated in an array of funding rounds; In April for Series C funding round for China’s Sense Time Group, in June for London-based Eigen Technologies. Additionally, in the space of blockchain, the Temasek has invested in R3, a technology that helps bank bring blockchain into real-time operation. It is a government-owned entity, established in 1974. Today, this stated owned investment firm stands with a net portfolio of $308 billion. The company serves a wide range of solutions to industries like telecommunications, financial, media, and technology, agribusiness, transportation, life science, real estate, energy and more.
A spokesperson noted;
“We have been expanding our business coverage and geographic footprint over the past few years,” adding, “As our operating environment evolves, our focus is on remaining nimble and well-positioned to capture opportunities that deliver sustainable value over the long term.”
Besides, the firm is on market rise by launching new features and partnering with key market players. It has recently tied up with the Singapore Stock Exchange ( SGX) to launch a security token offering (STO), named iSTOX. Beyond listing ICO tokens or cryptocurrencies, iSTOX will only facilitate fiat transactions for the tokenization transaction sales”.
The memo reads;
As the investment landscape becomes more competitive and complex, we are now seeing more situations where we would benefit from collaboration and specialized capabilities wider than our traditional sector and market team approach,
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Source: CoinGape

Ripple’s CEO Says Blockchain Will Change the World of Global Payments

Ripple CEO’s has sat down with Ross Leckow, IMF’s Deputy General Counsel, to talk about blockchain technology at the Singapore Fintech Festival.
Both agreed that the distributed ledger will change the world of global payments as the International Monetary Fund engages with the private sector and industry to help its members unlock the potential of blockchain with minimum risk.
IMF Engaging Private Sector to Help Countries Move Towards Blockchain-Friendly Environments
During the conversation about distributed ledger and the ASEAN market, current Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, told Leckow that the regulatory clarity in the region, namely in Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, is attractive for the establishment of blockchain businesses.
“In particular, Thailand has introduced a framework that balances consumer protection with innovation. It legalizes several digital assets, including XRP, and provides clear and explicit guidelines for outside blockchain companies to operate. This clear regulatory environment makes it easier to apply blockchain and digital asset technology to solve real-world business use cases, such as improving cross-border payments across the ASEAN region.”
Blockchain also comes as an opportunity for the East Asian region as the market is ripe for adoption of blockchain to lower the costs of cross-border payments, which totaled $130 billion in inbound payments alone in 2017. Ripple is particularly invested in the region, with nearly 50 percent of global customers based there. The broad acceptance of blockchain in ASEAN markets aims to solve issues such as opaque, expensive, and slow cross-border payments, Leckow explained.
“Cross-border remittance is a good example of a use case that is very important here. Regulators here have demonstrated a willingness to engage with each other and others around the world — a type of cross-border cooperation has emerged that involves the right stakeholders and helps develop solutions to solve for problems like this.”
IMF’s fintech-related advisory group, which was founded last year, includes Chris Larsen, executive chairman of Ripple’s board of directors and former CEO and co-founder of Ripple. The IMF official added that the international community is now working together to develop regulation that is proportionate to the risks so that it does not stiffle innovation, but each jurisdiction makes its own decisions.
“Each country has to decide for themselves what type of regulatory framework is best. But generally speaking, they should be cognizant of risk but also the potential to make the global system more efficient, more inclusive with this new technology.”
Ripple’s Garlinghouse ended the talk by explaining that blockchain addresses the issues of value interoperability, including bringing three billion people – almost half of the world population – to the global economy.
Related Reading: Ripple Moves XRP Security Lawsuit to Federal Court, Attorneys Call It Brilliant
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Blockchain Update: MAS and Singapore Exchange (SGX) Implement Blockchain Successfully for Settlement of Tokenized Assets

Bitcoin’s underlying technology, blockchain is exponentially rising across the world. As such, Singapore based Exchange, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange (SGX) is successfully leveraging the blockchain technology. The goal is to enable trading of tokenized assets across multiple blockchain platforms.
Trade tokenized assets across multiple blockchain platforms
Report in brief:

MAS and SGX successfully developed DvP for tokenized assets
DvP developed with major technology partners; Deloitte, Nasdaq, and Anquan
A joint report on DvP settlement was published by MAS and SGX with smart contract

As per the report, MAS and SGX will facilitate Delivery versus payment (DVP) for cross successful settlement of digital securities. Consequently, securities will be bought and sold via smart contract over numerous platforms based on blockchain technology. Moreover, it allows Fintech and corporate investors to successfully end up on simultaneous exchange and settlement. The firms believe that the process would reduce settlement risk whilst increasing operational efficiency.
As a support, Anquan, Deloitte, and Nasdaq appeared as the technology partner to appreciate DvPs capabilities.
Sopendu Monhanly, MAS chief fintech officer stated that;
“Blockchain technology and asset tokenisation are fuelling a new wave of innovation globally. This project has demonstrated the value of blockchain technology and the benefits it can bring to the financial industry in the short to medium term. The concept of asset tokenisation, as well as other learnings gleaned from this project, can potentially be applied to a broad spectrum of the economy, creating a whole new world of opportunities.”
On the other hand, Ms. Tinku Gupta, Head of Technology at SGX and Project Chair appreciated the initiative, said in a statement,
“We are delighted to drive this important industry effort to accelerate innovation in the marketplace. Based on the unique methodology SGX developed to enable real-world interoperability of platforms, as well as the simultaneous exchange of digital tokens and securities, we have applied for our first-ever technology patent.”
Technically, DvP is a process wherein the buyer gets money as security beforehand the asset is released. MAS and SGX’s step to leverage blockchain is to ensure DvP becomes more secure and efficient.
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Source: CoinGape

Binance Records 40,000 Ugandan Crypto Traders In One Week, Singapore Next?

Although the world-renowned Binance Exchange, which facilitates crypto-to-crypto transactions, has seen waning demand as of late, the startup has forged ahead and has made notable strides in the fiat-to-crypto realm. Reports indicate that Binance’s Uganda branch, which went live last week, has already seen a proverbial boatload of interest, leading to the obvious, but pressing question — can they replicate this newfound success across the world?
Binance Uganda Sees Tidal Wave Of Interest For Fiat-To-Crypto Platform
When consumers think of crypto-friendly nations, Malta, Japan, and Switzerland are often names that immediately come to mind. Maintaining this thought process, it should come as no surprise that many enthusiasts in this budding industry were shocked when Binance, the world’s foremost crypto exchange, announced plans to launch its first fiat-to-crypto platform in Uganda, a relatively small country in East Africa.
After a lengthy sign-up process and an enticing promotional event for locals, just last week, as reported by NewsBTC, Binance’s Ugandan branch went live in the country of 43 million. Although the global crypto public may have been initially skeptical of this foray, the African Binance subsidiary held high hopes for its platform, issuing optimistic comments via a Medium blog post.
The startup expressed its belief that Uganda is undoubtedly a home for blockchain innovation, adding that the growth of the local crypto economy could “light the way for the content [of Africa] to leverage blockchain technology.” Binance’s African subsidiary added that emerging markets, such as Uganda, could play a key role in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, alluding to the fact that the country is an optimal location for an accesible fiat-to-crypto platform.
And while it has only been a week since its launch, the startup’s unbridled confidence has already paid off, with CoinDesk revealing that Binance’s new branch, which supports Ugandan Shillings, Bitcoin, and Ether, has already taken on 40,000 locals as customers.
Considering that Uganda’s economy is far from flawless, with studies indicating that billions are being siphoned from the nation’s economy due to lawbreakers, it would be fair to assume that the local cryptosphere will continue to swell at an unmatched pace, as decentralization and transparency may beckon oppressed Ugandans in.
Next Stop: Singapore
In early-September, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao revealed that his firm was poised to launch a Singapore-based crypto-to-fiat platform into a closed beta for an exclusive group of investors. At the time, however, Binance’s top brass was hesitant to reveal what spurred this surprising move, which was the startup’s third announced venture into bridging the gap between cryptocurrencies and government-issued currencies.
Per Bloomberg, Vertex Ventures, which is parented by the Singapore government’s sovereign fund, was behind the Malta-based startup’s move to enter the city-state’s local cryptocurrency market, throwing an undisclosed sum at Binance. Although may were bewildered that Vertex, and the government of Singapore by extension invested directly in a crypto-focused startup, the move clearly adds up when you take the island nation’s regulatory environment into account.
Through a series of comments, Ravi Menon of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recently divulged that the local authorities are aiming to directly connect ‘banks and fintech cryptocurrency startups” to see if a common footing can be reached. It can be presumed that the MAS’ willingness to foster the local cryptocurrency economy will directly impact the progress of Binance Singapore, which will only be as successful as its relationships with local financial institutions.
So while details regarding Binance Singapore’s public rollout have been unusually scant, many are hopeful that the lax regulatory climate will parent an infectious crypto phenomenon that will spread across the globe like wildfire, so to speak.
Featured Image From Shutterstock
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Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Singapore Launches ‘Token Day’ to Bring Crypto to The Masses

Yesterday, October 31st, cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) celebrated its tenth birthday. As part of the celebration, a company called Bizkey has decided to start a new campaign called “Token Day” in Singapore.
Token Day is a campaign that is supposed to allow the public to get more familiar and better acquainted with cryptocurrencies according to reports. Not exactly a day as it will be held from October 31st to November 18th. During this period, every cryptocurrency holder in Singapore will have the opportunity to get to Singapore’s Chinatown, where 30 retailers are offering various goods in exchange for crypto.
Those willing to spend their digital coins will need Bizkey’s intelligent blockchain POS (Point-of-Sale) device. Numerous cryptocurrencies can be used, including Binance Coin, Ethereum, Zilliqa coin, Aelf coin, and others.
Bringing Crypto Adoption to the Next Level
Despite the fact that Singapore is among the most crypto-friendly places in the world, adopting cryptocurrencies as an accepted payment method is something that has yet to take place. This is why the event was created, and Bizkey hopes that the Token Day will “break the ice” and encourage other businesses to introduce crypto payments as well.
About a year ago, in November 2017, Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) decided to bring new guidelines, and establish a firm difference between security tokens and utility tokens. Since then, Singapore saw over 56 ICOs in only the first five months of 2018. As a comparison, there were only 35 ICOs throughout the entire 2017. To a lot of people, this was a sign that proper regulations can go a long way when it comes to developing new businesses and technologies.
Since then, many have started seeing cryptocurrencies as a method of solving issues that have been troubling retail sector for a long time. Things including payment fraud, logistics, delays of money transfers, accounting, and similar complications were all quickly eliminated by those who accepted cryptocurrency payments.
Bizkey’s CEO and co-founder, Ken Huang, commented on the event by saying that, even in Singapore, only a few people have the opportunity to actually use cryptos for buying products and services. Now, Token Day will demonstrate that using cryptocurrencies is easy and that there is more than enough customers that are interested in paying via crypto.
In fact, Huang stated that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 crypto holders in Singapore. Estimates also say that most of them are between the ages of 20 and 50 and that they likely include tech-savvy males. Huang also expressed hope that these individuals will be among the pioneering crypto spenders during the 18 days of the event.
As for the event itself, it will have around 30 retailers participating, including Hotel 1887, SK Jewellery, Koryo Mart, 18 Hours, Steamov, and others. The move aligns with Bizkey’s goal, which is to introduce new people to the crypto world and make sure that they have a device that can accept and make all types of crypto and fiat payments. In a way, their device acts as a crypto wallet with an additional purpose, and many view it as a first step into the real digital era.
 
Image from Shutterstock
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Cryptocurrency Debit Cards Ready to Tackle Credit Cards, Starting in Singapore

Asia’s first Crypto Visa Debit card is all set to take on credit cards while promoting interest in digital assets as Crypto.com previously known as Monaco gets ready to roll out 100,000 such cards, starting in Singapore. The company is also planning crypto-money lending services.
Promoting interest in digital assets with Asia’s first crypto Visa debit card
Cryptocurrencies are leaving no stone unturned to take over the world one step at a time. Adoption is already growing at the local and global level both. Now, the first cryptocurrency Visa debit card is being released by the Hong Kong-based blockchain startup Crypto.com rebranded from Monaco in July.
The company shared that its partner bank has applied to issue the cards in the city. Starting with Singapore, the company will ship over 100,000 cards to the customers globally over the course of two months.
By tapping this market, the company is offering a new product that according to the co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com, Kris Marszalek will help the customers it the following manner:
“To holders of cryptocurrencies, having the peace of mind that you can readily convert back into fiat currencies and cash out is very important.”
Marszalek further shared that the plan is to promote people’s interest in digital assets:
“Not all exchanges support crypto-to-fiat transactions, and even if you hold your digital assets at the exchanges’ wallet, the withdrawal process is also complicated. We believe our product addresses a real need, and enhances trust in digital assets.”
Also, read: Lightning Network Gives a Massive Kick to Bitcoin Adoption as 4000+ Merchants go Crypto
Disrupting the credit card industry with cryptos
This is not all, Crypto.com is also planning to apply for money lending license in Hong Kong and Singapore. Apparently, the company wants to venture into and recognize itself as the crypto-backed money lender instead of just a crypto debit card platform. This means, if the plans of the company work out, the crypto Visa cards’ holders and crypto wallet users will be able to get loans in collateralization of Bitcoin and Crypto.com’s native token MCO.
The partner bank of the company is Wirecard Bank of Germany that already has a stored-value facility license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Marszalek is expecting its debit cards and lending service to disrupt the credit card industry.
Marszalek further shares his idea to eliminate the “unethical business” of banks:
“The credit card business model is one that is bordering on unethical business, as banks make a big chunk of profit from people who cannot afford late fees. These people should not be given a credit card in the first place.”
The loan process will involve KYC and would only allow the fiat borrowing capacity of 40 to 60 percent value of cryptos that must be pledged as collateral.
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Source: CoinGape