There is a constant debate going on globally about how exactly cryptocurrency should be regulated, and Malaysia is no exception. The Asian country might not have the economic status of neighbors such as India or China, both of which seem to be cracking down on cryptocurrency rather than embracing it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Malaysia will follow suit. In fact, Malaysia is seeking public feedback with regards to regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) and property crowdfunding.
Just because Malaysia is interested in public feedback, that doesn’t mean that it the country will be a destination for those looking to trick investors for a cryptocurrency get-rich-quick scheme. The country’s top financial watchdog, Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), previously announced that those who attempt to run an unregistered ICO or cryptocurrency exchange could be jailed for up to 10 years. They also could potentially be fined up to RM10 million, which translates to over $2.4 million in U.S. dollars.
While the Malaysian economy might not compare to that of India or China, it still is a substantial market, and is the 38th largest economy in the world. It certainly is a major player within the continent, as it is the third largest economy in Southeast Asia. The country made headlines last year within the cryptocurrency community by pushing for a political fundraising platform that utilized blockchain technology. The Harapan Coin caused a lot of controversy amongst Malaysian politicians in late 2018, and many are waiting for clear regulatory framework before considering the coin to be a legitimate project.
The consultation paper produced by the SC were clear about the fact that the Malaysia crypto market was not an advanced one, stating that it is “much smaller than the overall Malaysia capital market.” The papers also suggested that those interested in going the ICO route should meet certain capital requirements and also shouldn’t be a public company. Those interested in providing feedback are asked to do so over the next several weeks, before March 29, 2019.
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