Category Archives: Malaysia

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Thieves Drill Through Wall to Steal 85 Mining Rigs

A crypto mining rig warehouse got cleaned out by a sophisticated group of thieves in Malaysia. Five people rented a building next to the crypto mining rig warehouse for one day and monitored the movement of the mining rigs. The thieves waited for the moment when everything was clear and proceeded to drill through the wall and steal 85 mining rigs. Apparently these mining rigs were top of the line, which each rig being worth USD 10,300, bringing the total haul to USD 875,500.

The police believe that this group of thieves planned on using the machines themselves and starting a crypto mining farm. The thieves did not get far, however. The police searched the area and arrested all five suspects red-handed, since when the police seized their car they found drilling equipment.

At this point, the perpetrators are being held as the investigation continues, and charges have not been filed yet.

Although they were unsuccessful in their endeavor to start a crypto mining farm by drilling through a wall and stealing 85 rigs, this saga is certainly a unique new type of cryptocurrency scam.

 

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Malaysia Securities Commission Recognizes 3 Crypto Exchanges

Malaysia Recognizes 3 Crypto Exchanges

The Malaysian Securities Commission (SC) has recognized and accepted the registration of three cryptocurrency exchanges in the country: Luno Malaysia, Sinegy Technologies and Tokenize Technology.

A press release on Monday detailed the event, explaining that from now on crypto exchanges must be registered with the SC to operate legally. The three names exchanges will now have nine months to meet all compliance requirement by the markets regulator.

Luno General Manager in Southeast Asia David Low told CoinTelegraph that these are the only such companies registered to legally trade digital assets in the country. He explained:

“We’ve been working closely with regulators and banks to complete the groundwork for the buying, selling and storing of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, which we believe are the future of money. Regulation will ultimately bring clarity and protection to consumers, and will ensure that all cryptocurrency businesses have adequate standards in place to protect investors and their funds.”

The SC introduced the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 on in 2019 on 15 January and this very quickly followed by a revised Guidelines on Recognized Markets on 31 January. In that month, it enacted 15 new crypto regulations.

Since then, it has published two papers, requesting public feedback on its proposed regulations for token offerings and other related issues.

 

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Malaysia to Build 835-Acre Blockchain City

Malaysia to Build 835-Acre Blockchain City

A new massive blockchain project called Melaka Straits City is planned for Malaysia with fundraising of USD 120 million needed in its initial stage.

The idea is to make the blockchain city not only functional for a range of business enterprises and educational services, but also a major tourist attraction with the Ministry of Tourism of China predicting that 3 million tourists could visit it every year.

The city will be built on over 835 acres off the coast of Malacca in a project backed by the government of China and construction and engineering company China Wuyi. The plan is to allocate 200 acres of the marine area or building chalets and water recreation facilities. Malacca, dubbed “The Historic State”, is a state in Malaysia located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Strait of Malacca.

The features that give its unofficial “blockchain City” tag include a 32-hectare spread of land including kindergartens, colleges, universities, and student dormitories. Melaka Straits City will primarily be promoted as an educational center along with the tourist and sustainable development elements, which are the brainchild of the current owners of the land SWT International Sdn Bhd.

Over different periods Malacca was colonized by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British, and in 2008 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List. Melaka Straits City’s official spokesperson Lim Keng Kai says that the construction will be futuristic, but also with a nod to Malacca’s rich historical past pointing out:

“That is why we’ve planned to build a distinctive cultural street in the center of the city. It will be inspired by the styles of different colonial eras and is going to make tourists familiar with Malaysian traditions and history.”

It is important to note that the Malaysian government has a high level of awareness regarding the crypto sector. Malaysia is still adapting to the spread of cryptocurrency with recent regulations introduced aimed at bringing more transparency to the sector in order to increase the trust level of investors.

 

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Malaysian Crypto Market on Par with Equity Crowdfunding, P2P Financing

Crypto Market Now on Par with Equity Crowdfunding and P2P Financing in Malaysia

A news report today by news outlet The Star Online has revealed that digital asset trading in Malaysia will now be recognized as a market on equal footing with equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer financing (P2P).

According to the post, the Malaysian financial regulator, Securities Commission (SC), made the announcement earlier today in a briefing with the press when it highlighted the amendments made to its Guidelines on Recognized Markets.

The amendment was aimed at protecting investors and digital asset operators while making the nation inclusive of cryptocurrency trading. Chairman of the SC Syed Zaid made this clear when he said: “The new framework is part of the SC’ efforts to promote innovation while ensuring investors protection.”

However, Syed made it clear that this was a one-part measure to protecting investors, noting that investors would have to take on the responsibility of additional safeguards with respect to making investment choices, knowing that enterprise is still growing and has many risks involved, citing volatility and liquidity issues.

Further, with respect to current and prospective digital assets operators such as exchanges, a formal registration with the SC is required for recognition as market operators. More so, the regulator has stated that under the amended Guideline, “operators must be a locally-incorporated company with a minimum paid-up capital of MYR 5 million [about USD 1.22 million] upon commencing requirements”. This is subject to change by the regulator on a case-by-case, basis the report reads. Registration with the SC will commence on 1 March.

Digital asset operators in Malaysia have been tasked with the duties of ensuring the safety of their investors’ funds by maintaining real-time activity logs of their clients as well as having anti-theft systems in place.

As for operators of initial coin offerings, a separate guideline will be released by the end of March for further clarity

Malaysia has been working steadily on regulating the industry, though at some point, the regulatory stance became rather unclear. This had been a very sensitive area for the government, especially with cryptocurrency, which continues to prove to be valuable digital innovation and yet possesses huge financial security risks.

However, with the amended framework, and the newly enforced legislature dubbed the Capital Markets and Services Order 2019 in place, the Southeast Asian country can be classed with those who are forward thinking with regards to blockchain and the underlying emerging asset classes.

 

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15 New Crypto Regulations Enacted in Malaysia but Government Appears Overall Positive

Malaysia

According to a media report, 15 new regulations concerning the crypto sector came into effect in Malaysia on 15 January. After the implementation of these new regulations, the country’s crypto sector may have to go through tough legalization processes. However, strict regulations are expected to attract more investors as it will lead to improved security.

As reported by the media, from now on, cryptocurrencies, tokens and crypto assets will be classified as securities. These securities will be under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Securities Commission.

The new regulations state that a 10-year jail sentence and fines (up to USD 2.4 million) will be imposed on any unauthorized cryptocurrency exchanges or initial coin offering. Although some people are calling it a very harsh act, others seem to be satisfied as it will bring more transparency.

It may seem like the Malaysian government has taken a hard line regarding the crypto sector but the media reports claim that there are positive sentiments in the government regarding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Lim Guan Eng, Finance Minister, expressed his views saying that the government is well aware of the potential of the crypto sector and is looking to take advantage of it in order to improve the economic condition. He added that the government believes innovation can be brought into both old and new industries by utilizing blockchain technology. Digital assets can become an alternative asset for investors as well as for entrepreneurs and new businesses.

In the previous weeks, there were ambiguities regarding the Malaysian government’s stance on cryptocurrencies. However, the finance minister’s recent address has cleared the situation.

It is important to note that the Malaysian government has a high level of awareness regarding the crypto sector. Previously, the central bank decided to set up a cryptocurrency unit along with a fintech sandbox. Apparently, the recent regulations are aimed at bringing more transparency to the sector in order to increase the trust level of investors. The move will likely turn out to be a beneficial one for the crypto sector.

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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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Malaysia: Government Still Undecided About Cryptocurrency

Malaysia: Government Still Undecided About Cryptocurrency

The Federal Territory Minister in Malaysia Khalid Abdul Samad has said that the current status of cryptocurrency in the country is undecided. He made the comment during a charity event organized by Pertubuhan Kebajikan Insaniah Srikandi Malaysia.

In the comment, he said: “At the moment, the answer is neither legal nor illegal as the situation is unclear.” This was in response to a question about the legal status of cryptocurrency.

Samad was involved in the development and launch of the controversial Harapan Coin – a project dubbed the ‘world’s first crypto-politic ICO’ – said to be a platform that will revolutionize Malaysian politics. He disclosed that he was not appointed as finance minister, but the federal territory minister, which made crypto regulations hardly a subject particular to his jurisdiction. “As the matter is not under my jurisdiction, I cannot push too much,” he said.

However, Samad reportedly proposed the adoption of Harapan Coin to Malaysia’s Central Bank, the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. However, questions have been raised about the functional and clarity of purpose of the Harapan Coin by a select few, including former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

In November last year, the finance minister of Malaysia Lim Guan Eng confirmed that a digital asset regulatory framework is scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2019. This regulatory framework, which has been in motion for over a year now was intended to help the cryptocurrency industry without compromising on their financial system.

The report in November further suggested that the regulatory framework will most certainly include standards for both cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offering (ICO).

For now, any project that intends to issue cryptocurrency in Malaysia would have to go through the country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). More so, cryptocurrency exchanges have been reporting their data to the bank in order to forge a system to watch for money laundering activities. However, the Bank has stated explicitly that this in no way provides a certification of services by the exchange.

So far, the development of the industry has leaned more to the blockchain scope and while the regulatory stance of the financial watchdog is still underway, blockchain use cases are still spreading, this includes the recently developed remittance system and the proposed blockchain-based degree verification system.

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Goldman Sachs Faces Criminal Charges in Malaysia, Calls for Blockchain Transparency

1MDB

Criminal charges were filed this week against leading investment bank Goldman Sachs by Malaysia’s Attorney General as part of ongoing investigations into Malaysia’s highly-controversial USD 2.7 billion 1MDB development fund scandal.

The charges were filed under Malaysia’s security laws against the NY banking giant and its former bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng, former 1MDB employee Jasmine Loo and financier Jho Low in connection with the bond offerings.

The Wall Street Journal cites that a statement confirmed that the bank omitted material information and published untrue statements with the prosecution claiming that out of USD 6.5 billion worth of bonds arranged by Goldman Sachs, USD 2.7 billion were embezzled, creating a USD 600 million profit for Sachs. Malaysia’s Attorney General Tommy Thomas stated:

“The charges arise from the commission and abetment of false or misleading statements by all the accused in order to dishonestly misappropriate USD 2.7 billion from the proceeds of three bonds issued by the subsidiaries of 1MDB, which were arranged and underwritten by Goldman Sachs.”

A Sachs spokesman responded that the charges were misdirected and the bank would cooperate with the investigation. If convicted those involved could face up to ten years imprisonment under Malaysian law and face fines well in excess of the allegedly misappropriated funds.

Speaking of the bank’s credibility following the accusations, Attorney General Thomas said that, “Having held themselves out as the pre-eminent global adviser/arranger for bonds, the highest standards are expected of Goldman Sachs. They have fallen short of any standard.”

In a statement quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Goldman Sachs said:

“At a time when some are calling for aggressive regulation of cryptocurrencies, this case illustrates the potential that exists for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency systems to create a positive disruption within the existing banking paradigm which permits or even encourages theft and inefficiency through opaque processes and practices.”

These unexpected views from the bank although numerous reports this year have suggested that Goldman Sachs is considering offering crypto custodial services for clients. The bank has hinted recently that they would be expanding on its crypto trading desk to develop a bitcoin derivative known as a “non-deliverable forward” due to demand from clients. The Sachs statement quoted by the Wall St Journal continued:

“The complete transparency offered by cryptocurrencies makes it very unlikely that a single sticky-fingered public official would realistically get away with diverting the better part of a billion dollars, aided and abetted by private bankers whose only real interest is in their fees – USD 600 million in this case.”

 

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Securities Commission, Central Bank of Malaysia Declare Regulatory Intentions for Crypto

Securities Commission, Central Bank of Malaysia Declare Regulatory Intentions for Crypto

The securities commission and central bank of Malaysia have released a joint press release offering a brief outline of their intentions to regulate digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The announcement, co-authored by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and the central bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), aimed to provide some clarification on the regulations being put in place. The news comes shortly after the Finance Minister of Malaysia, Lim Guan Eng, had told local press that the digital asset regulatory framework would be delivered in the first quarter of 2019.

In brief

Currently, the regulations to “bring digital assets within the remit of the securities laws to promote fair and orderly trading” are to be applied to digital assets issued through ICOs as well as the trading of cryptocurrencies on domestic exchanges, to “ensure investor protection”. It extends this by adding that ICO issuers and exchanges will be subject to the commission’s ‘Guidelines on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing’.

Accordingly, both ICO operators and crypto exchanges that handle digital assets with “a payment function” will be required to adhere to BNM laws and regulations pertaining to payments and currency matters. Previously, Lim had spoken open-mindedly about cryptocurrencies, claiming that he did not want to hinder cryptocurrencies, though reminded that they are subject to existing laws.

The press release concludes with a disclaimer from the BNM stating that “digital assets are not legal tender in Malaysia”, encouraging consumers to perform due diligence prior to engaging with cryptocurrencies. Finally, it loosely describes how these frameworks are to be implemented, writing, “…the SC and BNM will enter into coordination arrangements to ensure compliance with laws and regulations under the purview of both regulators”.

Regional competition

Malaysia has been emerging as a key player in the South East Asia blockchain race that is accelerating in pace. In September, the nation displayed its bullish moves and began working to marry its top three industries with blockchain technology, namely Islamic banking, palm oil, and its energy sector.

The region has undoubtedly caught the blockchain buzz. In the Philippines, ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges are soon to have regulations in place, which comes shortly after two new crypto exchanges were established and additional bullish blockchain news.

In addition, Singapore has been making waves akin to that of nations who, like South Korea, are feverishly adopting blockchain technologies, bolstering the domestic ecosystem through institutional investors and making significant progress in their bid to regulate the sector.

As competition heats up in the region, many other major entities such as the European Union and the G20 are making strides in a similar direction. Blockchain is breaking out into global discourse like never before; the “fad” is here to stay.

 

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Malaysia to Release Crypto Regulations in Q1 2019

In a local news report, Finance Minister of Malaysia Lim Guan Eng confirmed today that a digital asset regulatory framework that will include cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICO) will be released and enforced during the first quarter of 2019.

Over a year ago, the Malaysia central bank began the development of a pro-blockchain and underlying asset regulatory framework to facilitate the development of the digital asset industry in the country without compromising its own financial system.

This effort was further clarified in a previous interview where Lim said, “It is not that we wish to obstruct (cryptocurrency) as we are keeping an open mind. But it is still subject to existing laws.” He added that any party wanting to include cryptocurrency would have to first refer to the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia.

According to Lim, the interest of investors is a priority and needs safeguarding, saying, “While some parties might still be skeptical of this space, there can be no doubt that we need appropriate regulations to be put in place and enforced to safeguard the interest of investors.” He further hinted that the regulation is part of the Securities Commission’s efforts towards promoting the ideas of the new funding options for businesses and the rise of the new investment digital asset classes.

Further, while keeping an open mind is the current stance of the parliament towards these digital enterprises, the government is also breaking grounds through co-investment fund in alternative financing such as equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer financing (P2P) platforms.

“We are keen on the continued development of such alternative financing avenues for these businesses beyond the traditional channels of financing,” he said.

So far, recent blockchain developments in Malaysia include its education sector considering blockchain solution in combating degree fraud. However, it seems the case of Harapan Coin, a project speculated to become a Malaysian centrally-banked cryptocurrency, has yet to garner significant support.

 

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