Regulating as Securities

Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Monday that his country”will govern initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the trade of cryptocurrencies,” Reuters reported, including:

An arrangement to recognize digital currencies and electronic tokens as securities will come into force on Jan. 15, under the regulation of the Securities Commission Malaysia [SC].

The order is known as”the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019.” ICOs cryptocurrencies and their related activities must comply with securities laws and be approved by the commission, the minister explained.

After Lim’s announcement, the Securities Commission Malaysia confirmed that it”will put in place guidelines to govern offering and trading of digital assets.” The regulator noted that”the offering of electronic assets, as well as its related activities, will require authorisation from the SC and compliance with relevant securities laws and regulations,” elaborating:

Criteria will be among others, established by the guidelines for determining fit and properness of disclosure standards and exchange operators, issuers and practices in price discovery, trading principles and client asset protection. Those dealing in electronic assets will be asked to put in place anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML / CFT) rules, cyber security and business continuity measures and bitcoin casino best slots.

What’s more, the commission said that it”will enter into coordination arrangements” with the Bank Negara Malaysia, the country’s central bank, in order”to guarantee compliance with laws and regulations under the purview of both regulators.” Additionally, the regulator revealed that”The relevant regulatory framework is expected to be launched by end-Q1 2019.”

Lim was quoted by The Star as saying,”Any individual offering an ICO or operating a digital asset exchange without SC’s approval might be punished, on conviction, with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and fine not exceeding RM10mil [~$2.44 million].”

Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng

Ministry of Finance Sees Potential

The finance ministry”views digital assets, as well as… inherent blockchain technology, as having the potential to bring about innovation in both new and old industries,” Lim further clarified, elaborating:

Specifically, we consider assets have a role to play as an alternate fundraising route for new companies and entrepreneurs, and an alternate asset class for investors.

Meanwhile, the Bank Negara Malaysia has repeatedly stated that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in its countryCryptogames site The central bank has advised the public to carefully evaluate the risks associated in dealing with them.

Bank Negara Malaysia has published a list of organizations that have declared themselves as service providers or exchanges, but emphasized that it has neither licensed nor authorized these businesses. Among companies on the list are Belfrics Malaysia, Bitpoint Malaysia Bit Malay, Bit Trade Enterprise, Bong Technology, Bxm, Luno Malaysia, Openbit, Udax International, Upbit Malaysia, and Xbit Asia.

What do you think of Malaysia beginning to govern cryptocurrencies and ICOs? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, the Malaysian government, and Reuters.

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