Law on digital currencies to come into effect Jan 15

  • Regulatory framework is expected to be launched by end-1Q19
  • SC and BNM will enter into coordination arrangements to ensure compliance

 

Law on digital currencies to come into effect Jan 15

 

THE Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 will come into force on Jan 15.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said digital currencies and digital tokens as defined in this order (collectively known as digital assets) were prescribed as securities and would be regulated by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

“The offering of such instruments, as well as its associated activities, will require authorisation from the SC and need to comply with the relevant securities laws and regulations.

“The ministry views digital assets, as well as its underlying blockchain technologies, as having the potential to bring about innovation in both old and new industries. 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.

“In this regard, the SC will put in place the relevant regulatory requirements for the issuance of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the trading of digital assets at digital asset exchanges in Malaysia. This framework is expected to be launched by end-1Q19,” said Lim in a statement.

He said any person offering an ICO or operating a digital asset exchange without SC’s approval was liable, upon conviction, to be imprisoned not exceeding 10 years and fine not exceeding RM10 million.

Following Lim’s statement, the SC will put in place guidelines to regulate offering and trading of digital assets.

The guidelines will among others, establish criteria for determining fit and properness of issuers and exchange operators, disclosure standards and best practices in price discovery, trading rules and client asset protection.

Those dealing in digital assets will be required to put in place anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML / CFT) rules, cyber security and business continuity measures.

With the coming into force of the Prescription Order, the offering of digital assets, as well as its associated activities, will require authorisation from the SC and compliance with relevant securities laws and regulations.

In order to implement the regulatory framework on digital assets, the SC and BNM will enter into coordination arrangements to ensure compliance with laws and regulations under the purview of both regulators. The relevant regulatory framework is expected to be launched by end-1Q19.

 
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