BitClout crypto platform removes PM Lee Hsien Loong's profile after he says it is misleading the public

The BitClout platform had used what appeared to be PM Lee Hsien Loong's Twitter profile without his knowledge. PHOTO: LEE HSIEN LOONG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A cryptocurrency platform that used Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's Twitter profile without his knowledge has removed his photo and name, a day after he demanded on social media that it stop misleading the public.

Checks by The Straits Times last Saturday (April 3) found that his profile had been taken off BitClout - a new type of blockchain that has its own native cryptocurrency and platform.

It allows users to buy and sell "creator coins" that are tagged to influential Twitter profiles. People can buy the BitClout cryptocurrency with bitcoin to make such trades.

PM Lee tweeted and posted on Facebook about it on Friday, after ST spotted what appeared to be his profile on the BitClout platform on Wednesday.

ST had also found other well-known names on the site, such as national carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the Olympics account.

SIA has also distanced itself from the platform and its anonymous creators.

An SIA spokesman told ST: "We note that BitClout has extracted information from SIA's Twitter account to create a pseudo-account in BitClout.

"SIA has not endorsed the use of our name and branding, and reserves all of our rights on this matter."

The spokesman added that the company had underscored its position on the matter through its website news alert, as well as posts on its Facebook and Twitter platforms.

"We would like to advise our customers again that SIA is neither associated with nor endorses any social media network to purchase or sell cryptocurrency tokens," said the spokesman.

A BitClout explainer document that ST spotted on the site said profiles for the top 15,000 influencers from Twitter had been preloaded onto the platform.

This means people can trade coins tagged to these Twitter profiles - including PM Lee's before it was taken down - regardless of whether they have actually signed up to BitClout or not.

The price of each coin goes up when people buy, and goes down when people sell. It is also affected by the profile's activity and popularity online.

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