Digital assets come under Securities Commission’s purview

14 Jan 2019 / 21:50 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Effective tomorrow, digital currencies and digital tokens (collectively known as digital assets) are prescribed as securities and will be regulated by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

In a statement today , Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 will come into force tomorrow.

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 of Finance 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,“ Lim said.

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 the end of Q1 2019.

Any person offering an ICO or operating a digital asset exchange without SC’s approval may be punished, on conviction, with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and fine not exceeding RM10 million.

Financial regulators have been keeping a tight rein on digital currencies and have previously emphasised that digital currencies are not legal tender in Malaysia.