The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has halted Bitget, a crypto exchange that got into a squabble after marketing the digital currency Army Coin, which is named after fans of the South Korean boyband BTS. BTS is one of the most popular music artistes who have won multiple American Music Awards and MTV Video Awards outside their home base on South Korea. The seven-member group has three top ten hits in the United Kingdom and has sold over 20 million physical albums globally, making them the most commercially successful Korean band of all time. The BTS Army, as the group’s supporters are known, is the moniker given to the new cryptocurrency.
The Bitget exchange in Singapore released the ARMY coin cryptocurrency in late October. It can currently only be purchased with the USDT (tether) stablecoin and not with fiat currency. There are a total of 10 billion ARMY coins in circulation, and they are currently only accessible on Bitget. According to its website, Bitget was founded in Singapore in 2018 and has over 1.5 million members globally.
Until today, there appears to be very little information about who put up the ARMY token. Though it’s logical to presume that this individual is a BTS fan, it’s also possible that this person is attempting to dupe K-pop fans into turning over their money, or at the very least, their tether coins, and then fleeing with it. Being kind and presuming that the person who created the token did so out of a love for BTS and their music, one thing to note is that BTS are referred to as ‘oppas’ on the crypto’s website. This is a Korean phrase that means “elder brother” and is used by younger girls to refer to older males they know. As a result, it’s reasonable to believe that the token’s creator is a female – or that it’s someone pretending to be a hard-core fan in order to gain trust.
Bitget, a sponsor of the Italian football team Juventus, has been marketing the Army Coin by claiming that it was established to provide BTS with a form of lifetime financial support so that they could focus only on generating music and other forms of art throughout their career and beyond. BTS’s agency, Hybe, however, stated that Army Coin has no link to BTS and warned legal action. In response to Hybe’s warning, Bitget declared on October 29 that it will not accept any responsibility for the listed Army Coin because it is a trading platform and did not establish it.
Bitget has since removed the regulator’s emblem from its website and has barred Singapore users from using its app and website.