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MAS suspends crypto exchange Bitget after dispute with K-pop band BTS’ agency over Army Coin

army coin bts

On Sunday (December 5), Financial Times reported that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has suspended the local operations of cryptocurrency exchange Bitget.

Back in October, Bitget was threatened with legal action by the agency of South Korea’s biggest boy band BTS, Hybe Corporation, over the promotion of digital currency Army Coin, named after BTS’ fan club.

bitget army coin
Image Credit: Screenshot from Bitget’s Facebook page

When the coin was listed on October 27, the price surged more than 5,000 per cent at one point.

The owner and creator of the coin is unknown, and Hybe said in a statement that the coin has “no affiliation” with BTS.

“We are currently reviewing legal violations, including the infringing of an artist’s portrait right, without consulting with the company, and we will take all legal action against infringements and violations,” added Hybe.

The platform had advertised Army Coin as a way to provide lifetime financial support to BTS members “so they do not have to worry about surviving, but instead let them do what they desire to do.”

In response to Hybe’s warning, Bitget announced on October 29 that since it is a trading platform and did not create the coin itself, it will not take any responsibility for the listed Army Coin.

Army Coin still remains available for users to buy and sell

Founded in Singapore in 2018, Bitget sponsors the Italian football team Juventus, and claims to have more than 1.5 million users worldwide. Its website claims the business was valued at more than US$1 billion in the latest financing round.

Bitget’s services were still available in Singapore until late November, when it was promoting Army Coin. Its website continued to claim that it had MAS approval, though the company has since taken down the MAS logo displayed on its site.

Bitget claims to still have licences in the US, Canada, and Australia, according to its website.

Meanwhile, Army Coin has also since been listed on CoinTiger, another cryptocurrency exchange with ties to Singapore. CoinTiger’s announcement said the coin “exists for the good of BTS”, and will “truly support them financially”.

The coin remains available for users to buy and sell in other jurisdictions on Bitget, including in South Korea, although trading has been extremely volatile.

The coin fluctuated by up to 78 times its value in a day, rising back and forth between US$1,000 (S$1,370) and US$78,000 within minutes.

Featured Image Credit: Teller Report


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