One party is one of the biggest musical acts of the world currently and another is a random cryptocurrency exchange, what exactly is the connection between the two?
For the unknown, the matter here is the connection between South Korea’s BTS (Bangtan Seonyeondan) and a crypto exchange that has been accused of misusing their image without express permission or agreement. For a few months this has been going on now, however, now the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has finally suspended the exchange after the row.
As confirmed by sources the crypto exchange following the suspension has removed the MAS logo it had on its website, but its licenses in regions like Australia, Canada and the United States still remain.
But what exactly is this whole issue?
Connection Between Crypto Exchange And BTS?
BTS as a band debuted in 2013 and are currently one of the biggest musical acts in the world, counted amongst legends like Beatles and more. Recently they were awarded the title of global recording artist of the year for 2020 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. They are one of the first bands who was performing in a non-English language to have gotten this title.
On the other hand, Bitget is a Singaporean cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2018. They are a prominent exchange reportedly having over 1.5 million users across the globe and apparently is worth over $1 billion. The exchange is also sponsors of Juventus, the Italian football team and as per reports has around 11,000 traders working with them.
The real row started when they launched the ‘Army Coin’, a digital currency, which could be a sort of lifetime financial support BTS members stating that “so they do not have to worry about surviving but instead let them do what they desire to do”.
The coin is named after the band’s followers who are known by the name of ARMY or BTS ARMY.
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BTS’s agency Hyber, however, was instantly on the currency and refuted any association or connection with the coin or the crypto exchange itself. In October, soon after the coin was launched Hybe also threatened Bitget with legal action over their usage of the coin and the BTS name itself in promotions.
The accused the exchange of using unauthorised image of the band and also making false claims of how the coin was made for BTS. The company suggested this was probably to lure in the fans who would be more willing to buy the coin and drive up its price if they thought the money was for BTS members.
In a statement, Hybe said,
“Through media inquiries and reports today, we have confirmed that ‘ARMY COIN’ will be listed on the ‘Bitget Exchange’, a coin exchange presumed to be located in Singapore.
We disclose that we have no affiliation with this cryptocurrency and that it was issued without any discussion with us. Also, it is revealed that the portrait of BTS used to promote the cryptocurrency was made without any consultation with Big Hit Music, the agency.
We are currently reviewing legal violations, including the infringing of an artist’s portrait right, without consulting with the company, and we will take all legal action against infringements and violations.
Currently, it has been confirmed that the coin is recruiting traders by spreading false information that the coin is ‘made for BTS’ and ‘exists to maximize BTS profits’. If you have suffered financial damage, please report it immediately to an investigation agency or reporting agency, such as the nearest police station.”
This is not the first time that there is some issue being raised around cryptocurrency and BTS. A few months back there was also a big row over cryptocurrency exchanges and related organisations or people buying over vacant Twitter pages of BTS ARMY’s or paying for posts and using the huge following those pages had to scam innocent people.
Image Credits: Google Images
Sources: The Guardian, The Indian Express, Financial Times
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