Malaysia will soon start regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the trade of cryptocurrencies. The country’s Finance Minister announced the new regulations in a statement earlier today.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng revealed that the Capital Markets and Services Order 2019 would come into effect on January 15. The new regulation will be monitored by the Malaysian Securities Commission.
The commission will launch a framework by the end of this quarter. The Minister further explained that the government would put in place all “relevant regulatory requirements for the issuance of ICOs and the trading of digital assets at digital asset exchanges in Malaysia.”
Starting January 15, any person or group operating unauthorized ICOs or digital asset exchanges in Malaysia will face a 10-year jail sentence. This will also include a 10 million RM fine (around 2.4 million USD).
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) holds a favorable view of cryptocurrencies, stating that they see “digital assets, as well as [their] underlying blockchain technologies, as having the potential to bring about innovation in both old and new industries.”
The Finance Minister pointed out that the MoF believes that cryptocurrencies offer an alternative fundraising method and a new asset class for investors, which makes them very important.
This latest development comes just two days after the Malaysian government revealed that it is still discussing the official status of cryptocurrencies. When asked about the ongoing deliberations, the Malaysian Federal Territories Minister commented that “at the moment, the answer is neither legal nor illegal, as the situation is still unclear.”