Singapore suspends Bitget exchange after row with K-pop band BTS

Singapore’s financial regulator has suspended the license of a local digital currency exchange over the listing and promotion of a controversial token. Bitget exchange listed Army Coin a few months back and claimed it was affiliated with a popular South Korean K-pop band BTS. The K-pop band has denied these links and sought legal redress, leading the watchdog to take extra measures against the exchange.

It all started back in October when Bitget announced listing Army Coin. In its announcement, the exchange said, “This coin exists for the benefit of the members of BTS. ARMY coin aims to take care of BTS members for life, so they do not have to worry about surviving but instead let them do what they desire to do.”

The listing caused an immediate clash with BTS agency Hybe. A day later, it released a statement denying any links between the token and the K-pop band. Hybe further hit out at the exchange for using BTS photos to promote the token without the consent or knowledge of the agency. 

“Including violation of portrait rights, we are currently looking into other legal violations and will take legal action against all infringements,” Hybe claimed.

BTS is a South Korean boy band that has become globally renowned as the best-selling artists in the country and the first group to receive a certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

In its response, Bitget defended its action, claiming that its job was to list tokens as a platform and that it had nothing to do with the development and marketing of the token. 

“But we will keep a close eye on the events related to Army Coin. Users should take into account that cryptocurrency is highly volatile and make safe investments,” Bitget said.

And now, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has stepped in. The watchdog suspended the operating license of the exchange, denying it access to the Singaporean market. However, the exchange is still available in other jurisdictions, including the U.S. and Australia. It claims to have over 1.5 million registered users and is valued at over $1 billion. According to CoinMarketCap, Bitget processed $4.7 billion in the past day.

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