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Malaysia Orders Unregistered Crypto Exchanges to Shutter, Refund Users

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:37 PM
Mark Emem
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:37 PM

Malaysia’s capital markets regulator has warned all unregistered crypto exchanges doing business in the country to end operations and give back investor funds.

In a press release, Securities Commission Malaysia indicated that only three digital asset exchanges were registered in the country. The three are Luno Malaysia, Sinegy Technologies and Tokenize Technology.

Apart from the three operators mentioned above, no other online platforms are permitted to establish and operate a DAX in Malaysia currently. As such, all other DAX operators are required to immediately cease all activities related to the trading of digital assets and return all monies and assets collected from investors.

Nine months for crypto exchanges to comply with all regulatory requirements

The three exchanges were registered early last month. They have until March next year to comply with all the relevant regulatory requirements.

Some of the regulatory requirements  that the exchanges are required to fulfill touch on market surveillance, trading rules and other elements. The crypto exchanges have also been required to set up segregated bank accounts as they await a green light from the SC. Additionally, the exchanges are also required to draft a trading rulebook which will be submitted to the SC for perusal.

According to The Malaysian Reserve , the three crypto exchanges are all anticipating steady growth once they have been authorized to offer full services. Malaysia is one of the most attractive countries in the world to hold and transact in cryptocurrencies. This is because owners of crypto assets are not required to pay a capital gains tax  when their holdings appreciate in value. Other cryptocurrency transactions in Malaysia are also tax-free.

Malaysians warned against ICOs

Besides crypto exchanges, the regulatory body also warned Malaysians against participating in Initial Coin Offerings. Per the Securities Commission Malaysia, no ICO has been authorized. The regulatory body is still working on finalizing guidelines for the sector.


Securities Commission Malaysia specifically singled out foreign ICOs saying that it’s not only difficult to verify them but it may not be possible to recover invested funds:

An ICO issuer not having a physical presence in Malaysia would make it difficult to verify the authenticity of the ICO. Further, the recovery of invested monies may be subject to foreign laws or regulations.