The Singapore financial center tries to protect the general public from the risks of trading in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.

In future, their publishers will no longer be allowed to advertise their products in public places such as streets or subways, at ATMs, but also in newspapers and social media.

This was ordered by the central bank of the city-state.

This leaves the providers with their own websites and official websites.

Christopher Hein

Business correspondent for South Asia/Pacific based in Singapore.

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The restriction is based on the strong price fluctuations: Bitcoin alone more than doubled in value between July and November last year to $67,554. Since then, however, it has fallen 37 percent to $42,764. This is particularly dangerous for speculators who finance their purchases with loans and thus bet on an increase. “MAS strongly supports the development of blockchain technology and the innovative application of cryptocurrencies in value-added applications. However, cryptocurrency trading is highly risky and not suitable for the general public,” noted Loo Siew Yee, deputy general manager of the central bank. Therefore, providers of digital currencies should not trivialize the risks of trading with them.

The city-state has recently experienced a wave of digital attacks on private individuals' accounts managed over the Internet.

But the state bank DBS Group refuses to replace five-digit losses with short form letters.

This causes resentment among the citizens, who are practically forced into the digital accounts.

So far, the central bank has approved four out of around 180 applicants for a license for cryptocurrencies.

The quartet includes local fintech Fomo Pay, Australian cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve, the brokerage arm of local bank DBS Vickers and Singapore-based payments service provider Triple A. The Fed requires the firms to “act in awareness that trading digital currencies is not suitable for the general public”.

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