Insight

Singapore's crypto scene: Hits, misses and what's next

Like it or not, cryptocurrencies are fast becoming mainstream around the world, with more investors and businesses jumping on the digital assets bandwagon. Singapore, too, handed out its first crypto licences about a year ago.

Since then, the country has been shaping up as a stomping ground for innovators and entrepreneurs in the industry. But shielding retail investors from the volatile market remains a problem.


More consumer safeguards and industry rules needed

The first thing cryptocurrency investor Sim Kwang Wei did when it dawned on him that he would experience what he described as his "worst financial loss ever" was to scroll through Twitter.

Mr Sim, 32 and self-employed, was holidaying in Bangkok when news of the crash of Terraform Labs' stablecoin TerraUSD and sister token Luna reached his ears.

He had bought both tokens and lost more than $500,000.

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Blockchain tech, crypto assets set to become more mainstream

The market has not been kind to cryptocurrencies, which have in the past year suffered trillions of dollars in losses and a string of major scams that has damaged confidence in the emerging asset class.

From a peak in November 2021 of US$2.96 trillion (S$4.2 trillion), the market capitalisation of all cryptos fell 72 per cent to a low of US$836 billion in June 2022, according to crypto aggregator CoinMarket Cap.

Yet regulators and investors remain interested and more businesses have emerged across the blockchain and crypto sphere despite the recent downturn.

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Meet movers, shakers and believers in blockchain's potential

Singapore is establishing itself as a hub for innovation in the financial and digital asset space with a diverse range of investors, businesses and entrepreneurial talent setting up base here.

The Sunday Times talks to some individuals and professionals about their roles in the fast-moving crypto industry.

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