FirstFT: Singapore Vows to Be “Relentlessly Tough” on Crypto

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Singapore will be “brutally and relentlessly tough” on misbehavior in the crypto industry, according to its fintech policy chief, marking a sea change in rhetoric after years of the city-state courting the sector.

Sopnendu Mohanty, director of financial technology at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank, questioned the value of private cryptocurrencies, saying he expected a state-backed alternative to be launched within three years.

“A lot of cryptocurrencies have been called out to us for not being friendly,” he told the Financial Times in an interview. “My response has been: friendly for what? Friendly to a real economy or friendly to some unreal economy?”

Mohanty added: “We do not tolerate any misbehavior from the market. If someone has done something wrong, we are brutal and relentlessly tough.”

The collapse of cryptocurrencies has hardened the stance of officials in Singapore, where many cryptocurrency companies have been established due to the perceived friendly regulatory environment and low taxes.

  • Opinion: I wouldn’t be ready to bet that private digital money will really die; the mutation seems more likely, writes Gillian Tett.

Video: Cryptocurrencies: How Regulators Lost Control

Do you think Singapore is right to crack down on cryptocurrencies? tell me what you think about [email protected]. Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of the day’s news: Emily

1. EU leaders grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate member status EU leaders agreed at a summit on Thursday to make Ukraine and Moldova candidates to join the bloc, a historic move by Brussels after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Related reading: The EU’s top diplomat has insisted the bloc has no intention of blocking the legal transport of Russian goods to Kaliningrad via Lithuania in comments aimed at defusing tensions with Moscow.

2. China’s zero-Covid strategy has increased the risk of flu epidemic Health officials warn that the country’s focus on stamping out Covid-19 has left it unprepared for a possible flu epidemic that risks killing tens of thousands of citizens. Some health authorities are particularly concerned about a flu outbreak in southern China.

3. Toyota retires the electric vehicle fleet Toyota is recalling its fleet of 2,700 electric vehicles less than two months after launching its first mass-produced battery-powered sport utility vehicle, which was designed to compete with Tesla.
The world’s largest carmaker issued the global recall yesterday, warning that the wheels could fall off due to problems with the bolts that connect them to the vehicle.

4. Early voting could help Najib avoid jail time for 1MDB, opposition warns Najib Razak, the former Malaysian prime minister convicted of money laundering related to the 1MDB scandal, could capitalize on an early general election victory to avoid jail time, the country’s opposition leader has warned. Some members of Najib’s party were trying to bring forward the 2023 elections so they could consolidate power and influence the judiciary, Anwar Ibrahim said.

5. Investors increase bets that the BoJ gives up controls on the yield curve At last week’s policy meeting, the Bank of Japan renewed its commitment to buy as much government debt as needed to keep 10-year borrowing costs below 0.25 percent. But pressure is mounting on the central bank to ease its touch, with many investors entering short positions in Japanese government bonds (JGBs).

© BoJ chart

Thanks to the readers who responded to our survey yesterday. Ninety percent of those surveyed said they expected corruption and mismanagement to plague the Philippines’ new administration.

the days ahead

Remarks by the Chinese Ambassador to Australia Xiao Qian will speak today at the University of Technology in Sydney, addressing bilateral relations between the two nations.

Japan inflation data Japan is to publish its consumer price index figures today. CPI inflation is expected to remain stable at 2.5 percent. (Street FX)

UK by-election results When the results are announced on Friday, the Conservatives are set to lose two parliamentary by-elections, according to senior party strategists, in moves that could spark a new backlash against Boris Johnson.

what else are we reading

She was loved for taking on China. she can die in jail During the years that Claudia Mo has been warning about China’s growing authoritarianism towards Hong Kong, her sense of humor and honesty have made her a beloved figure among supporters of democracy. Later this year, Mo, one of the Hong Kong 47, will find out if she will spend the rest of her life in jail.

Taiwanese military training needs to be improved Rising tensions in US-China relations, coupled with the war in Ukraine, have accelerated Taiwan’s consideration of military reforms. The most popular plan is to triple the length of mandatory service. “Such lengthening of service will do little. . . prepare my country for a possible Chinese invasion. My own experience did little to prepare me and my comrades for war,” writes a former military man.

The time to impeach Donald Trump is drawing near The evidence amassed by the US House of Representatives January 6 committee is making it that much harder for US Attorney General Merrick Garland to turn a blind eye. But any prosecution of the former president carries serious risks, writes Edward Luce.

Revlon has become a bag of memes Revlon shares have soared from about $1 a share to $8 a share, less than a week after the company filed for bankruptcy. But don’t expect a resurgence in the company’s fortunes reminiscent of car rental company Hertz, says Sujeet Indap.

Food crisis spreads across Africa Sharp global rises in food, fuel and fertilizer prices since the Russian invasion of Ukraine have compounded the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic and left millions of Africans facing an “unprecedented food emergency”, it warned. the World Food Program. The risk of social unrest in poorer countries has also increased.

© Food in Africa graphic

Fashion

Automation, digitization and globalization have brought us an incredible abundance of material at very low prices. This is, in itself, a good thing, and it is not just a story of iniquity and waste. We should insist on sustainability, but also celebrate good, cheap clothes, writes Robert Armstrong.

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