SC conditionally approves 3 crypto-currency exchanges

KUALA LUMPUR: Securities Commission today announced it has conditionally aprroved three companies to operate digital asset exchanges or crypto currency exchanges in Malaysia.

The three companies are Luno Malaysia Sdn Bhd, SINEGY Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd and Tokenize Technology (M) Sdn Bhd.

All three companies are given up to nine months to fully comply with all regulatory requirements prior to receiving a full licence.

SC’s proactive regulation of cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technologies will bring innovation in both old and new industries.

Crypto exchanges that are not approved by the Securities Commission must cease all activities immediately and return all monies and assets collected from investors. This includes the other 19 exchanges who previously had applied for licensing from the regulator.

Securities Commission warned that all cryptocurrencies and digital asset will require prior approval before they can be traded on any exchanges.

Those who continue to operate unlicensed crypto exchange would risk to RM10 million fine and 10 years jail time, or both.

The public are being reminded of the risks of trading digital assets, including the risk of trading on exchanges that are not registered with Securities Commission.

In a separate statement, London-headquartered Luno, which has been operating in Malaysia since 2015, looks forward to relaunching Luno services to all Malaysians.

Currently, Luno allows the trading of the two most established cryptocurrencies –Bitcoin and Ethereum– on its platform. Luno employs over 250 staff with close to three million opened wallets across over 40 countries.

Luno general manager of Southeast Asia David Low said 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.

He said Luno’s commitment to compliance is reflected in continued registration with, and institutional reporting to Bank Negara.

"We are coordinating with our partners in Malaysia to get Luno back and operating as quickly as possible. We’re almost ready to accept new customers and enable them to buy, sell and trade of crypto on our platform,” he said.

Co-founded by chief executive officer Marcus Swanepoel and chief technology officer Timothy Stranex, Luno has raised over US$13 million in funding since its launch in 2013.

Luno is backed by global tech giant the Naspers Group who led their Series A round, and Balderton Capital who led their Series B round, amongst others.

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