This questioning follows the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX earlier in November. The Financial Times reported that new FTX chief John Ray III, appointed to run its bankruptcy, said in court documents that he had never seen “such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information”.
What steps are the Government taking?
The thrust of all these questions are perhaps best summed up by those from Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim (Chua Chu Kang GRC): What are the due diligence or measures undertaken prior to investments in cryptocurrency trading platforms like FTX? And what are the immediate and long-term steps that Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will take to help mitigate consumer risks in cryptocurrency trading?
Mr Zhulkarnain is also asking what lessons can be drawn from this incident. He is also querying the impact of Temasek Holdings’ investment in FTX following the cryptocurrency exchange’s bankruptcy.
Similarly, with regards to diligence, Ms Cheryl Chan (East Coast GRC) will ask what further steps will be taken to strengthen the system for cryptocurrency companies with non-licensed offshore exchanges that have operations in Singapore.
She is also asking if the bar will be raised to prevent local retail investors without adequate risk knowledge or direct funding means from participating in investments.
Mr Edward Chia (Holland–Bukit Timah GRC) will ask if the central bank will regulate digital token service providers and exchanges to ensure liquidity requirements so as to safeguard customers’ digital tokens from insolvency risks.
Additionally, Mr Melvin Yong (Radin Mas SMC) will ask if recommendations in MAS’ ongoing public consultation can be expedited. He sees this as reducing the risk of consumer harm from cryptocurrency trading and supporting the development of stablecoins as credible digital assets.
Examining the data closely
In other Parliament questions, Dr Lim Wee Kiak (Sembawang GRC) will ask about the magnitude of losses incurred by Singaporean retail investors and individuals following FTX’s collapse; and if this collapse will have a domino effect on other cryptocurrency exchanges.
Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten SMC) will ask about the financial loss suffered by Temasek Holdings; and if this affects the Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC) for the next three financial years.
Ms Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson SMC), similarly, will ask how the FTX collapse affects Singapore’s financial market and economy; and how many retail traders in Singapore are affected.
And Mr Saktiandi Supaat (Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC) will ask about the value of Temasek Holdings’ investments in cryptocurrency trading platform FTX and its subsidiaries as well as whether the Government has any data on the exposure of Singapore investors to FTX in terms of the number of investors and the total value of their holdings.
He is also asking whether and how FTX’s sudden bankruptcy will affect Singaporeans as well as MAS’s ongoing consultation regarding consumer harm from cryptocurrency trading.
Cover photo credit: Parliament House Facebook