Category Archives: Malaysia blockchain news

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New Malaysian Legislation Starts Today, Illegal ICOs Face $2.5 Million Fine

Malaysian

While Malaysia has been contemplating cryptocurrency legislation for some time, latest news emerging from the South East Asian country reveals that the government may designate tokens and digital assets as securities and bring them under the jurisdiction of Malaysian Securities Commission. As part of the new legislation, any person offering illegal and unregistered initial coin offerings and other token projects will also be penalized with a reported jail sentence of up to 10 years and MYR 10 million (USD 2.45 million) fine.

According to a Reuters report, the new legislation called The Capital Markets and Services Order 2019 will bring tokenized assets under the control of the central securities commission of the country. According to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, the new legislation will be effective from 15 January onwards.

While the new regulations seem to be harsh, Malaysian News outlet The Star highlighted the positives in the new move: “The Ministry of Finance views digital assets, as well as its underlying blockchain technologies, as having the potential to bring about innovation in both old and new industries.”

While Lim believes that ICOs and tokens will provide a valuable alternative for raising capital and other officials have also welcomed the sector, the new regulations are tough. The Malaysian blockchain industry has boomed in recent years because of loose regulations but, with stricter authority in the hands of the Securities Commission, the future remains uncertain for the sector.

 

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Malaysian Crypto Issuers Must Get Central Bank Approval

Any party that intends to issue cryptocurrency in Malaysia should get approval from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the Asian country’s central bank. This stance of the Malaysian Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, was reported by New Straits Times, a local English language news platform.

The Finance Minister said so when a Malaysian Parliament member, Dr Tan Yee Kew posed a question on the methods being used to ensure the protection of the local currency and the financial system as a whole from the effects of cryptocurrencies.

There is also a project that is looking into launching a Malaysian centrally banked cryptocurrency, called the Harapan Coin. The Harapan Coin is yet to be shown to the central bank or the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The coin has received mix responses, with one Parliament member suggesting that the government should implement proper cryptocurrency-related regulations before venturing into the space itself.

Dr Tan was of the opinion that cryptocurrencies should not be opposed, but these should be working under a decided frame of laws and regulations to ensure no adverse effect on the financial system of the nation”

I advise all parties wishing to introduce Bitcoin (like) cryptocurrency to refer first to Bank Negara Malaysia as it is the authority that will issue the decision on financial mechanism. It is not that we wish to obstruct [cryptocurrency] as we are keeping an open mind. But it is still subject to existing laws. Do not try to do something without guidelines from Bank Negara and commit something against the law.”

Although the government is taking the crypto revolution slowly to ensure no hasty decisions are made, it has come under fire for Harapan Coin, with many civic and political leaders criticizing the digital currency. One such group, the Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet), said that the government seems too eager to start off “trendy but untested schemes”.

 

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Malaysia Education Ministry to Develop Blockchain-based Degree Verification System

Malaysia’s education ministry (MoE) has announced that it is developing a blockchain-based degree verification system to combat degree fraud according to a recent tweet.

The official social media communication stated that the system is being developed in collaboration with a university consortium. The system is designed to be able to test and verify the authenticity of university degrees in the country and will include six public sector universities in the first phase.

The system is being built on the NEM blockchain, under the leadership of a professor from International Islamic University Malaysia.

The reason behind the pursuit of the new blockchain degree verification system is not just for the preservation of integrity and reputation of Malaysian universities but also to protect the rights of the students and promote the overall use and universal application of the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

The program will serve as skills training for students trying to enter the blockchain sector and the consortium will also receive backings to develop industry-standard blockchain solutions that could help generate useful revenue for the participating universities through patented technology.

The move comes after various other universities have announced the development of similar blockchain-based degree verification platforms. The top engineering institute in the world, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) became the first university in the world to implement a degree issuing system that is based on blockchain back in October 2017.

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