Don’t let crypto fears taint potential in blockchain tech, Forum News & Top Stories

It was immensely disheartening to learn that a delivery driver who lost his life savings was among many investors affected by online trading platform Torque’s suspension of accounts (S’poreans who invested with crypto-trading platform Torque lose life savings, April 6).

I am grateful that Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has spoken publicly on the matter and helped bring more attention and caution towards investment in cryptocurrency (Cryptocurrency market in S’pore remains small, says Tharman, April 7).

Cryptocurrency is the new asset class of choice used by creative scammers to lure investors into dubious investment schemes.

The important distinction I would like to make is that the problem lies with the unscrupulous tactics of unethical scammers, and not with the blockchain technology behind many of these cryptocurrencies.

Many believe blockchain technology can be developed to greatly benefit society by reducing the multitude of intermediary costs involved in day-to-day life.

Singapore has been a shining example of a nation that is at the forefront of advancing blockchain technology.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Project Ubin has been experimenting with blockchain technology since 2016 to make payment systems safer, more transparent and more cost-efficient.

Global digital asset exchanges like Binance and Gemini, encouraged by Singapore’s forward-looking regulatory environment, have also set up offices here.

With this head start, global financial centre Singapore also has every chance of being a leader in the next wave of blockchain applications, including its corresponding investment asset class, cryptocurrency.

I am glad that the recent slew of negative headlines on cryptocurrency can help encourage due caution and care among Singaporeans when considering cryptocurrency investments.

I also urge a balanced perspective towards the continued support of the underlying blockchain technology that may still bring great things to our country.

Jeffery Sung Oon Hua