Singapore PM tells followers to ‘remain vigilant’ on crypto after seeing name used to sell tokens

“I have nothing to do with the platform,” said Lee Hsien Loong. “It is misleading and done without my permission.”

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, claims someone set up a profile on the social token platform BitClout to sell tokens using the information from his Twitter account. 

In a Facebook post Friday, Loong urged Singaporeans to “to remain vigilant when dealing with cryptocurrency platforms.” He said that someone had used BitClout to create one of the platform’s Creator Coins using his name, Twitter account bio, and photo. According to the screenshot Loong posted, there were 27.4088 of his tokens with a market capitalization of more than $9,800, with at least one user holding $4.77 worth.

“I have discovered that my Twitter profile (and others as well) has been used without my permission or knowledge on a blockchain platform that allows users to buy and speculate with its proprietary cryptocurrency,” said the prime minister.

He added:

“The site’s creators are anonymous, but I have sent an open tweet out to ask that my name and photo be removed from the site immediately, as I have nothing to do with the platform. It is misleading and done without my permission.”

Loong’s account has since been removed, but could have been added to the platform at launch. According to BitClout, the site pre-loaded the top 15,000 Twitter influencers — purportedly based on the number of followers — allowing users to “buy and sell their coins even though they’re not on the platform yet.” The Singapore PM has more than 792,000 followers.

However, it appears that the figures behind the BitClout accounts do not have to reserve their profiles for the buying and selling of the tokens to start. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s BitClout profile shows he has not officially joined the platform, but many users are currently holding his tokens, worth $89,379.39 each at the time of publication. When creators activate their accounts by tweeting out their BitClout address, they’re entitled to claim a certain number of their own tokens.

The prime minister’s warning went out to his 1.6 million Facebook followers in addition to his Twitter followers, but was purportedly intended for all 5.7 million people living in Singapore. Loong seemed to imply investing in the crypto platform was akin to “falling prey to scams,” and encouraged users to only deal with companies regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

BitClout has also attracted the attention of former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, who is handing out signed copies of her final 2016 Playboy magazine cover to the three biggest holders of her Creator Coin. Anderson’s token is currently valued at $6,749.89 with a market cap of more than $800,000.

Continue reading

Nigeria’s central bank not discouraging people from trading crypto, says governor

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria has seemingly softened his stance on crypto for individuals, if not banks.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of Nigeria’s central bank which previously banned banks from servicing crypto exchanges, has reportedly clarified the bank’s position on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.

According to local news outlet TodayNG, Central Bank of Nigeria, or CBN, deputy governor Adamu Lamtek said on behalf of Emefiele that the bank had not banned Nigerian residents from buying, trading, or selling crypto, but “[protected] the banking sector from the activities of cryptocurrencies.” Lamtek spoke at a seminar for the Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in the capital, Abuja.

“The CBN did not place restrictions from use of cryptocurrencies and we are not discouraging people from trading in it,” said Emefiele. “What we have just done was to prohibit transactions on cryptocurrencies in the banking sector.”

The statement follows the CBN announcing last month in a circular that it had placed a ban on all regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto exchanges in the country. The ban directed all commercial banks to close accounts belonging to crypto exchanges and other businesses transacting in cryptocurrencies in Nigeria, warning of “severe regulatory sanctions” for any institution in breach of the rule. Some account holders at Nigeria’s Access Bank have already reported their accounts have been closed.

Emefiele previously referred to cryptocurrencies as “not legitimate money” with no place in Nigeria’s monetary system. The governor said at the time the central bank was doing its due diligence to better understand the implications of the emerging space.

However, many regulators and crypto enthusiasts in Nigeria have criticized the ban. Some lawmakers in the Nigerian Senate have proposed inviting the CBN governor and major crypto stakeholders to a hearing to discuss issues related to crypto regulations in the country.

Since the CBN introduced the crypto ban, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading at a premium in the country. Valued at $57,349 in the United States, data from crypto exchange Luno currently shows BTC has risen to a more than 70% premium in Nigeria at a price of $97,509.

Continue reading

Stone Ridge’s Open-End Mutual Fund to Invest in Bitcoin — SEC Filing Opens the Door for Other Mutual Funds to Add BTC

Stone Ridge's Open-End Mutual Fund to Invest in Bitcoin — SEC Filing Opens the Door for Other Mutual Funds to Add BTCAsset management firm Stone Ridge has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its open-end mutual fund to invest in bitcoin. “This is a big deal. Stone Ridge filing opens the door for every mutual fund to add bitcoin,” said a fellow asset manager. Stone Ridge Wants Its Mutual Fund to Invest […]
Continue reading

Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff Warns Central Banks Will Never Allow Bitcoin to Go Mainstream

Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff Warns Central Banks Will Never Allow Bitcoin to Go MainstreamHarvard Professor of Economics and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kenneth Rogoff says that central banks won’t allow bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to become mainstream. “Eventually over the long course of history, the government first regulates and then it appropriates, and I think we can see that happening here,” he warned. […]
Continue reading