Malaysia to see crypto regulations in Q1 2019

Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA – Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has announced that regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs will come into force by Q1 2019.

Addressing the crowd at the FinTech Conference 2018, he said that the Securities Commission (SC) had given him an update that the regulations “would be part of the SC’s efforts to facilitate alternative fundraising avenues and new investment asset classes”. Guan Eng also elaborated in his speech:

“While some parties might still be sceptical of this space, there can be no doubt that we need appropriate regulations to be put in place and enforced to safeguard the interest of investors.”

He also reiterated his statement in Parliament that interested parties must work within the framework set up by Bank Negara Malaysia and the SC.

“Both Bank Negara and the SC, in terms of formulating this framework will be under the auspices of the Finance Ministry. The Finance Ministry will lead the committee comprising of Bank Negara, the SC, and the Ministry of Finance itself.”

As he says, the regulatory framework forms a big part of the Malaysian government’s efforts to increase the growth of alternative kinds of financing for “high potential and innovative MSMEs”, which is a strategic focus of the government as it looks to encourage growth in the private sector. Earlier in the month, Eng addressed the parliament in Malaysia to state that while the government isn’t opposed to crypto it wants its regulatory guidelines to adhere to.

Authorities have sought to control the sector in the meantime, but the general view could be positive as even Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir has said that cryptocurrency is definitely within the Malaysian government’s radar and that they are interested especially on the roles that it may replace.