Interest in the cryptocurrency market may yet increase in Malaysia as the government has okayed the operations of three cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The country becomes the latest in the Southeast Asian theater to enact policies beneficial to the emerging industry following the likes of Thailand and Singapore.
Malaysian Regulators Okay 3 Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Malaysia’s securities watchdog, the Securities Commission (SC) temporarily gave three cryptocurrency exchanges the go-ahead to operate in the country in June 2018, per The Malaysian Reserve. The exchanges include Sinergy Technologies, Tokenize Technology, and Luno Malaysia.
However, the move by the SC has made lots of Malaysians and Malaysian investors curious about these exchanges and cryptocurrency.
David Low, who serves as Luno’s south-east General Manager said that there have been numerous questions and interest in virtual currency has increased, after the temporal approval.
According to Low:
We have many queries from investors…it has definitely increased, and our investors mostly ask when will they be able to sign up and deposit their money again. More like triple queries have been received.
Although the approved exchanges were given nine months to meet the regulator’s requirements in order to be fully operational in Malaysia, Luno has stated its readiness to fulfill all the regulator’s requests.
Furthermore, Low said that Malaysian investors would have to be patient until the company gets the 100% approval from the regulatory body. Since the SC currently prohibits exchanges from accepting deposits, Low said that a full approval would mean that investors would be able to deposit and buy digital currencies.
However, Luno Malaysia isn’t the only Digital Asset Exchange (DAX) operator looking forward to obtaining a full approval from the SC. According to John Sidoli, Head of Institutional Sales for Sinegy Technologies, 10,000 new investors would be gained following a full approval from the regulator, and an additional 30,000 in June 2020.
The SC has stated that no ICO is allowed in Malaysia as guidelines are still in the works. According to the regulator, anyone marketing an ICO or offering virtual currencies would have to pass through the SC.
At the moment, only the three temporarily-licensed DAXes would operate in the country and would trade only bitcoin, ether, and ripple.
Malaysia Joins Thailand in Regularizing Local Crypto Scene
Apart from Malaysia striving to make the cryptocurrency industry thrive in the country, Thailand is also another Asian country trying to regularize the local virtual currency scene.
Back in March 2019, Blockonomi reported that Thailand’s regulatory body, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved its first-ever ICO portal. According to reports, ICO portals will serve as a screening platform for ICOs and also check if crypto companies were complying with certain security requirements.
Also, the Thai SEC stated its intention to update the existing Securities and Exchange Act to include cryptocurrencies, thereby providing clear regulations for cryptocurrency in the country.
SEA Authorities Enacting Positive Cryptocurrency Policies
While China firmly controls the mining arena, crypto adoption continues to grow across Southeast Asia. In January 2019, Malaysia’s Security Commission announced its willingness to regulate the cryptocurrency market as securities.
In March 2019, Malaysia SC also tried to seek public opinion concerning Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and crowdfunding. With Thailand already having a framework for crypto fundraising, authorities in Malaysia may be looking to swiftly work out all the modalities that would make ICOs legal but highly regulated in the country.
In Singapore, the country’s tax authorities have published a draft document that would make cryptos exempt from goods and services tax (GST) if passed. The new tax regime would only apply to cryptocurrencies that the government recognizes as payment means.