Central Bank of Malaysia Introduces First Regulatory Move for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

“Cryptocurrency exchanges in Malaysia will need to disclose information of users by 2018”

Malaysia yesterday announced its first regulation on cryptocurrencies, by deeming cryptocurrencies exchanges as “reporting institutions”. As a result, by next year, all cryptocurrency exchanges in Malaysia need to disclose information of buyers and sellers on their respective platforms.

“Beginning 2018, Bank Negara will designate persons converting cryptocurrencies into fiat-money currencies as reporting institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla) 2001,” said Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim, who is the governor of Malaysia’s central bank Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

The new regulatory move aims to prevent use of cryptocurrencies for unlawful purposes. This falls in line with many countries in the region such as Australia, Singapore, China and Japan, who have previously expressed similar concerns for the use of virtual currencies to fund terrorism and criminal activities.

“This [the new regulation] is to prevent the abuse of the system for criminal and unlawful activities and ensuring the stability and integrity of the financial system,” Ibrahim added.

Notable exchanges currently based in Malaysia include Luno and Coinhako. They both support transactions of bitcoin and Ethereum.

Presently, Malaysia has not banned the exchange of cryptocurrencies, and unlike China, has not banned new launches of initial-coin-offerings (ICO) in the country. It has however indicated in October that it will reveal its approach towards digital currencies and ICOs by the end of the year.

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