Bitget, a Singapore-based digital asset platform, has been suspended by the Monetary Authority of Singapore after getting into an argument with a K-Pop agency for the popular boy band BTS.
The Financial Times reported on Dec. 5 that Bitget lost its Singapore license following the controversial listing of a new k-pop-themed cryptocurrency called Army Coin. However, the crypto exchange claims to have licenses in other jurisdictions, such as Australia, Canada, and the United States.
Bitget exchange published a tweet promoting Army Coin, named after the South Korean boyband’s fans, on Oct. 25.
According to the complaint, the coin displayed misleading claims such as, “This coin exists for the benefit of BTS” and “ARMY coin aims to take care of BTS members for life”.
The exchange allegedly violated the band agency’s portrait rights by showing the new cryptocurrency on their webpage using the ARMY ticker and BTS’s name and images without permission.
Following the announcement that the cryptocurrency had been listed on the Singapore-based exchange, Hybe announced:
“Our legal department is currently investigating the legal violations in this case, including the cryptocurrency’s infringing on our artists’ portrait rights without consent or discussion with the agency. All infringements and violations will be prosecuted.”
According to the article, the coin was not affiliated with BTS and those who had lost money on it should contact the police.
According to reports, Bitget responded to the statement by clarifying that they did not create the coin themselves, and will not take responsibility for it. On Dec. 3, the ARMY token was delisted by the exchange. According to the FT, the coin was available for trading on Bitget in other jurisdictions, including South Korea.
Bitget was founded in Singapore in 2018, claims to have 1.5 million registered users worldwide, and after its most recent Series B funding, has been valued at US$1 billion.
Bitget entered the industry spotlight after inking a sponsorship deal with Italian soccer giants Juventus in September 2021 and becoming an official partner of PGL Major Stockholm 2021 in October.
Bitget has also partnered with stablecoin issuer Circle in order to become one of the first exchanges to list USD Coin (USDC) as collateral for trading crypto derivatives.