Malaysian Authorities Address Cryptocurrency

According to sources in Kuala Lumpur, at the Global Symposium on Development Financial Institutions, the governor of Bank Negara Malaysia announced the central bank’s intention to issue cryptocurrency guidelines.

“We hope to come out with guidelines on cryptocurrencies before the end of the year: in particular, those relating to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing,” said Governor Muhammad Ibrahim. “We want to ensure that there are clear guidelines for those who want to participate in this sector.”

Know your customer (KYC) is slowly becoming industry standard as regulators strive to prevent tax evasion and money laundering. Exchanges request a copy of a government-issued ID, like a driver’s license or passport, before a new user can open an account. Furthermore, to comply with anti-money laundering regulation, exchanges report suspicious activities and prohibit fraudulent transactions. Countries like Malaysia are now realizing the need for oversight and monitoring.

The statements by the governor of Malaysia’s central bank came shortly after a warning was issued to investors by Securities Commission Malaysia about the risks of investing in token offerings (frequently referred to as ICOs). In the region, regulators that have published similar notices include the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Internationally, ICO warnings have also been issued by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Central Bank of Samoa, among others.