The Malaysian finance minister, Lim Guan Eng confirmed that the order to regulate cryptocurrencies had become effective on Jan. 15, reported by Reuters. This order is known as “the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019.”
The new regulation classifies digital currencies, tokens and crypto-assets as securities, placing them under the Securities Commission’s (SC) authority. With this order, cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and their related activities must abide by relevant securities laws and be approved by the commission, the minister explained.
On that note, from Tuesday, any person offering an ICO or operating a digital asset exchange without SC’s approval “may be punished, on conviction, with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and fine not exceeding 10mil ringgit (~$2.44 million).”, Lim said
According to The Star, a Malaysian news outlet, the finance ministry also showed positive view on cryptocurrency industry as Lim stated: “In particular, we believe digital assets have a role to play as an alternative fundraising avenue for entrepreneurs and new businesses, and an alternate asset class for investors.”
At the same time, Bank Negara Malaysia warned the public about the risks coming with cryptocurrencies as they are not legal tender in its country. The central bank also published a list of companies including Belfrics Malaysia, Bit Malay, Bitpoint Malaysia, Bit Trade Enterprise,.. that declared themselves as cryptocurrency exchanges or service providers. However, they denied having granted any license or authorization to these businesses.