One Singaporean Minister says, the government is “closely studying” NFTs and Metaverse, while another official has cautioned the public over crypto investment scams.
In a written reply to a question from a parliament member, the Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran said the government is tapping these “early-stage” technologies’ characteristics and risks.
“The Government will seek to balance between promoting economic vitality, preserving social stability and protecting public security in the digital domain.”
Minister Iswaran spoke on the situation.
Despite the fact that these technologies’ participatory and decentralized components indicate promise for growth, Singapore is treading carefully. Given the global character of Metaverse, he went on to say that “international coordination of regulatory methods” is critical. Individuals should also use caution when dealing with technology such as NFTs, even if they show promise.
Another MP advised citizens to deal solely with businesses licensed by Singapore’s national bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). K Shanmugam, the Minister of Home Affairs, has advised the people to “ask, check, and confirm” before engaging in any cryptocurrency transactions or investments.
“It might be a fraud if the offer from an investment platform or online game looks to be too good to be true,” he stated. He answered a query on the “Neko Inu” cryptocurrency gambling fraud that surfaced in Singapore recently.
His cautions come at a time when several countries are on the lookout for such con artists and are issuing public warnings. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States has issued a warning about a new fraud employing cryptocurrency ATMs.
“Gaming Craze” in Cryptocurrencies
Over 20 police reports were filed last month against a Singaporean suspected of being behind the “Neko Inu” crypto gaming craze. Local participants allegedly lost over $100,000 in cryptocurrencies as a result of the game.
Players may earn Tether in this game, which works like a Ponzi scheme (USDT). It contains NFTs in the form of cartoon pets that can be exchanged or sold for USDT.
According to one player, the game creator turned all of the players’ USDT profits into a token known as Neko$, which is not listed on any crypto exchanges and cannot be cashed out. Other cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum, however, were not supported by the gambling site.
“We were taken aback when we saw our USDT had been converted to Neko$. The victim informed local reporters that the conversion was one USDT to five Neko$.
The government is boosting up “investigation efforts” to combat such frauds, according to Minister Shanmugam. Given the challenges associated with investigating such anonymous and international crypto frauds, measures include educating the public about cryptocurrency-related scams and raising public awareness.
Singapore is planning to establish itself as a crypto hub
The island country has been actively adopting emerging technologies like NFTs, Metaverse, and Blockchain. Officials in Singapore have stated a desire to make the country a centre for cryptocurrency and fintech development, but with caution.
In December of this year, Singapore’s central bank proven to be one of the harshest regulators, rejecting over 100 cryptocurrency licensing applications. According to Nikkei, 103 of the 176 enterprises that filed for a license to offer “digital payment token services” have either withdrawn their applications or been denied by MAS.