Malaysia securities regulator issues guidance for digital asset custody, IEOs

The Securities Commission of Malaysia has published new guidance for the digital assets industry, revising previous guidelines effective as of October 28.

The regulator has brought in the amended guidance to govern a range of functions in digital asset markets, including digital asset custodian services and initial exchange offerings, better known as IEOs.

The Securities Commission of Malaysia said the move was designed to support “responsible innovation in the digital asset space, while at the same time managing emerging risks and safeguarding the interests of issuers and investors.”

The Commission first published regulatory guidance for IEOs back in January, creating a set of rules that companies could use for raising funds through token issuance on regulator digital asset exchanges. These rules were not due to take effect until the end of this year, with the new guidelines now adding to the legal framework.

The new rules require IEO platforms to carry out due diligence processes on issuers, including assessing the issuer’s suitability for meeting local compliance requirements with anti-money laundering and terrorism financing provisions.

Companies providing digital asset custodian services will also be governed by the new amendments, which place similar burdens on custodians to meet with the new compliance threshold.

Alongside the new rules, the Commission is now accepting applications for licenses from digital asset custodians and IEO providers, under the terms of the legal framework.

While the guidance has been published to encourage innovation within certain legal parameters, it is unequivocal on the status of digital currencies and other digital tokens in Malaysia, which are not legal tender or a legitimate form of payment instrument.

“Digital currencies and digital tokens are not recognized as a legal tender nor as a form of payment instrument that is regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia.” 

See also: Karen J. Wendel’s presentation at CoinGeek Live, Custody Changes Everything: How BSV Opens a New World for Digital Asset Custodians

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