Singapore Officials Warn Against Chasing Crypto and NFT Investments Amid Investor FOMO

Even though some of the biggest crypto and NFT companies are headquartered in Singapore, the country’s officials are taking a measured approach to the blockchain space.
Image source: DepositPhotos

Quick take:

  • The Minister for Communications and Information called on companies and individuals to ‘participate responsibly in the metaverse’.
  • NFTs broke through to Singapore’s mainstream consciousness after a Singapore-based entrepreneur bought Beeple NFT for $69.7 million in March 2021.
  • Cashing in on the NFT rise, a number of NFT projects have been launched in Singapore over the past year.

Singapore officials are warning against chasing after digital investments such as cryptocurrency and NFTs amid a recent surge in investor FOMO into the blockchain space in the country.

In an effort to mitigate crypto and NFT investment risks for individuals and regulate businesses in the blockchain space, Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo stated that Singapore’s government is “closely studying” the characteristics and risks of technologies like blockchain, decentralised finance, NFTs and the metaverse. “Similar to the physical world, the government will seek to balance between promoting economic vitality, preserving social stability and protecting public security in the digital domain,” she added.

NFTs started gaining widespread attention in the country after Singapore-based entrepreneur Vignesh Sundaresan made headlines around the world with his purchase of an NFT collage titled ‘ Everydays — the first 5,000 days’ by digital artist Beeple for $69.7 million.

Teo urged companies and individuals to “participate responsibly in the metaverse” amid investor FOMO. Singapore NFT collectible project Dark Zodiac made nearly $1 million an hour after launching a series of NFT-based digital trading cards in November last year.

Without a capital gains tax law, investors in blockchain and its related products and businesses are perhaps seeing Singapore as an attractive country to set up shop.

In the past year, a number of NFT projects have been launched in Singapore., one of the most well-known crypto exchanges in the world is headquartered in Singapore and launched its NFT marketplace in March 2021. 

NFT Marketplace Mintable was launched in Singapore in 2018 but only started growing significantly over the last year. In July 2021, the startup raised S$13 million in Series A funding. The startup is backed by billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Ripple Labs, and MetaPurse, an NFT investment fund backed by Vignesh Sundaresan, the buyer of Beeple NFT.

Print media has also jumped into the NFT space. Fashion photographer and 3D artist Shavonne Wong is the first to have her NFT art featured on the cover of Vogue.

In August 2021, Vogue Singapore released a collection of 40,000 mystery boxes with exclusive NFTs on Binance. Singapore-based Brytehall, an upcoming NFT marketplace powered by Media Publishares (publishers of Vogue Singapore, Esquire, Robb Report and Buro.), Vidy and Binance, is also in the works. 

Most recently, wealthy Singapore heirs Kiat Lim and Elroy Cheo have teamed up to launch an NFT-based private social networking app.

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