Regulatory Uncertainty Turns Off Temasek From Crypto Investments

Regulatory Uncertainty Turns Off Temasek From Crypto Investments

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Singapore’s leading investment conglomerate, Temasek, has reportedly called off its hunt for cryptocurrency-related investments for now. 

Temasek Waiting For Comprehensive Regulatory Framework

Temasek CEO Rohit Sipahimalani has stated that the company is not interested in cryptocurrency investments due to the lack of regulatory clarity. This decision comes after the Singaporean state-owned conglomerate experienced a significant loss of $275 million in the aftermath of the FTX crisis. 

During a recent interview, Sipahimalani highlighted the "regulatory uncertainty" surrounding the cryptocurrency sector, making it challenging for Temasek to risk a second investment in this ecosystem. However, he mentioned that the company would reconsider its stance if regulators implemented a comprehensive regulatory framework:

He noted,

"If you have the right regulatory framework, and we are comfortable with it, and you have the right investment opportunity, there’s no reason for us not to look at it."

MAS Tightens Regulatory Noose

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is working toward establishing a framework of protection for local participants in the crypto industry. It is coming down hard on digital organizations by preventing their lending and staking services that are offered to retail investors. Additionally, the MAS is also leaning toward ruling that these firms should hold customers' assets in a designated trust by the end of 2023.

Temasek is a leading investment giant in Singapore and holds around $500 billion of assets. The company had undertaken its first crypto venture by investing a sizeable $275 million with the FTX crypto exchange. 

Early Stage Investment In FTX

CEO Sipahimalani explained that the FTX investment was part of Temasek's strategy to explore new disruptive technologies, 

“Firstly, you got to remember that the FTX investment was a part of our early-stage investment strategy, where we invest in new disruptive technologies to see what’s around the corner, so that we can bring that to our portfolio companies and benefit within our ecosystem.”

The CEO also revealed that the company went ahead with the FTX investment as the exchange “had good technology, was gaining market share, and showed a willingness to engage with regulators and be licensed.”

However, despite the investment giant’s due diligence, its FTX bet did not work out. Temasek lost all of its invested $275 million and also took a hit to its reputation in the market. As a result, the team and senior managers responsible for approving the investment have taken full responsibility and faced reductions in their annual compensations. 

Sipahimalani claimed, 

“When we do early stage investing, there will be some losses, some write-offs, but, importantly for us, the whole portfolio of early stage investments should do well.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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