Miami based bitcoin ATM maker Bitstop has recently installed Miami International Airport’s first crypto ATM, according to a press release issued October 15. The installation adds to the 106 machines the company has already placed across the U.S. Further, it raises important questions about the benefits and legality of traveling with crypto in lieu of cash, when it comes to declaration of assets.
While the installation of another crypto ATM doesn’t exactly herald groundbreaking change in the crypto space, per se, Bitstop’s new ATM in Miami International Airport’s concourse G does merit some attention. First, though Bitstop advertises the user experience as “private,” travelers must first register with the company using a valid “ID or mobile device.” Given the current regulatory climate in the space, it seems that the days of legal, non-ID ATMs may soon be a thing of the past. Though there are still some ATMs allowing for non-ID purchase, regulatory bodies worldwide are taking unified steps to better track the flow of digital assets.
Second, travelers have been talking for a while now about the process of declaring declaring crypto holdings when passing through customs. Owing to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), countries have hard rules on the amounts of fiat cash, gold or other assets travelers can bring across their borders without an official declaration. With crypto, though, it’s not so cut and dried.
Though a bill was submitted by the U.S. Senate in 2017 which would require travelers to declare digital currencies over $10,000 if made law, it has still to make its way to the customs declaration cards familiar to travelers. The bill reads in part:
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shall submit to Congress a report detailing a strategy to interdict and detect prepaid access devices, digital currencies, or other similar instruments, at border crossings and other ports of entry for the United States.
Though the latest iteration of the bill has yet to pass Senate, the reality of newly implemented decryption laws, in places like Australia, has some wondering when these practices might become more commonplace. According to a local media outlet, the accused in such cases “who refuse to provide access to a device face dramatically increased penalties of up to 10 years’ imprisonment as a result of the laws, passed in December. Previously, the penalty was up to two years’ imprisonment.”
Bitstop Co-Founder Cites Security and Convenience
Bitstop’s co-founder Doug Carrillo relates in the press release: “More and more people prefer to travel with Bitcoin instead of cash for convenience and security. Miami International Airport is a perfect place for our customers to conveniently exchange their dollars for Bitcoin and vice versa when traveling domestically or abroad.”
Carrillo’s proclamation raises even more questions about the possibility of travelers converting funds en route so as to avoid the necessity of declaration at their destination. Thanks to ID requirements, however, tracing such transactions would prove easy for law enforcement should legislation prohibiting such actions be passed.
Bitstop’s 107 bitcoin ATMs nationwide deal in BTC, and require extensive user identification. For some this is still a convenient and viable option. For others who prefer to acquire crypto in a less privacy-invasive manner, trading platforms like local.bitcoin.com exist, facilitating peer-to-peer trade of bitcoin cash (BCH) with multiple payment options and utilizing an end-to-end encrypted escrow system.
Do you think travelers should have to declare crypto at customs? Let us know in the comments section below.
A study reveals that more than 80% of all crypto related posts on Reddit are positive in nature, sentiment toward crypto on a rise in recent years…
Despite all of the bad press that the digital asset industry continues to receive on an almost daily basis, it appears as though the overall sentiment of the online communities in regard to this burgeoning domain is still pretty positive. For example, Comparitech — a research firm that provides its consumers with a host of specialized data that allows one to make more informed decisions — recently used a machine learning-based analysis tool to study more than 48K Reddit posts to determine which cryptocurrencies were viewed most favorably by the masses. Not only that, the study also took into consideration a total of 7,500 crypto/blockchain-related articles from a variety of different national and international media outlets.
All of the posts, tweets and articles analyzed by the researchers were scored on the basis of their positive/negative sentiment — primarily in relation to other articles included in the study. In this regard, there were a few notable trends that jump out at the reader upon first glance. While over 85% of the analyzed Reddit posts were deemed to be positive in nature, articles published by various mainstream media publications such as HuffPost, Business Insider and The International Business Times were, by and large, dismissive of the crypto market.
To get a better overview of the matter, Cointelegraph has reached out to Craig Russo, owner of Peer, a Boston-based startup that is behind the popular crypto and gaming media outlet SludgeFeed. When asked about what the overall sentiment of the average social media user toward the crypto industry (at large) was like, Russo pointed out:
“While there will always be different camps or schools of thought on the crypto industry, the overall sentiment across social media continues to be bullish, both on future price growth and mainstream adoption of the technology.”
A similar point of view is also shared by Sritanshu Sinha, an independent crypto author and analyst, whose work has been shared online by the likes of John McAfee and Kim DotCom. Sinha pointed out that the overall reception that the crypto industry has received thus far on forums such as Reddit and Twitter has been quite warm. He is also quick to point out that, since the Reddit community as a whole views itself as being anti-establishment, the platform’s users are usually drawn to crypto much more than your average investor. Similarly, in the case of Twitter, he believes that there are a few independent analysts who have hundreds of thousands of followers and therefore have the power to influence the community toward fostering a positive view regarding various altcoins/digital offerings.
Has the public views on crypto changed over the years?
Another pertinent question is how the crypto industry’s general perception has evolved since the novel asset class came into the spotlight a few years back. For example, it is no secret that all through 2018, investor confidence in this space has been dwindling. However, Russo believes that Bitcoin’s (BTC) financial upswing over the last eight months has been a turning point for the industry, especially across different social media outlets. Further elaborating on his views, Russo added:
“This is in stark contrast to those invested in the altcoin markets, as many are in disbelief towards the poor performance of their assets. The regulatory environment definitely plays into the latter, as increasing pressure from the U.S. government has undoubtedly hurt investor interest in Bitcoin alternatives (i.e., Binance shutting down to U.S. customers).”
When compared to the previous years, the general sentiment toward the crypto sector has certainly become less hostile. For example, back in 2017, a time when Bitcoin was witnessing astronomical growth, the industry was still facing a lot of heat from many financial experts of differing pedigree. And while the market, at the time, was replete with countless scams (especially Twitter bots) such activities have largely died out now.
As mentioned earlier, a host of recent surveys seem to suggest that more than 80% of all crypto talk online is positive. This number seems abnormally large for an industry that is usually on the receiving end of a lot of criticism from various traditional media outlets. Sharing his thoughts on the subject, Sinha pointed out:
“80% seems about right. Mostly, because that’s the nature of evangelism. Most of us on social media seems to be crypto-evangelists. However, positive sentiments and bull markets are highly correlated and they seem to be feeding off each other to create a positive feedback loop. If I have to prophesize, the 80% positive sentiment will not be the case during a bear run. Then the voices of the skeptics will become louder and sentiments will turn increasingly negative.”
Tweet interpreters are being used to gauge global investor interest
A number of hedge funds and asset managers are currently turning to software developers to help them interpret and harness sentiment signals to their advantage. Speaking to Reuters on the subject, Bin Ren — CEO of Elwood Asset Management — was quoted as saying that this latest trend of identifying price clues from tweets and other social media messages is slowly turning into an “arms race for money managers.”
To put things into perspective, it can be seen that the costs involved with conducting such types of research analyses are quite steep. As per Andrea Leccese, president of New York-based investment firm Bluesky Capital, a simple bot-driven Twitter data exploration can cost firms anywhere between $500,000-$1 million.
Will increasing regulations stifle the industry’s growth?
Ever since Facebook announced its decision to enter the digital asset market — via its much-hyped stablecoin offering called Libra, which is backed by the Libra Foundation — the regulatory noose surrounding this space seems to have tightened considerably. However, contrary to popular belief, a number of crypto analysts seem to believe that increased regulations can be a good thing for the industry.
Cointelegraph spoke to Mohanned Halawani, the founder and CEO of Crypto PR, one of the first blockchain-specialized communication firms. He seems to be quite optimistic and believes that some of the latest regulations are actually quite advantageous for prospective investors, especially those regarding security token offerings (STOs) and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Halawani went on to add:
“The SEC has facilitated the emergence of Security Token Offerings which it felt was a more worthy investment vehicle when compared to traditional Initial Coin Offerings… Security tokens allow their investors to get information about the issuer on a fully transparent framework, providing complete visibility on all token allocations. Thanks to the regulatory benefits of these assets, authorities are beginning to their raise their standards among tradable asset classes and even support their implementation.”
Similar opinions are also provided by Joe Mercurio, project manager for Comparitech, who believes that the goal behind these regulations is to ultimately make consumers and businesses more comfortable with using cryptocurrencies on a regular basis. Mercurio shared his thoughts with Cointelegraph:
“I think that government entities will eventually adopt blockchain technology and new cryptocurrencies will begin to emerge. That said, I do believe that the market will remain volatile.”
Whether we like it or not, government regulations are crucial for any financial commodity — be it crypto or otherwise — to gain mainstream acceptance. And while these rules and guidelines may appear to hamper an asset’s growth at times, a majority of these regulations are a step in the right direction. Also, because Bitcoin and other digital currencies are basically tools for individual financial freedom, governments do not want to give up financial control over their citizens.
Simply put, when we see the history of such revolutionary technologies getting adopted by countries en masse’, we are sadly faced with a long and painful path that eventually leads to widespread human well-being.
How much of a role does social media play in shaping the public’s opinion on crypto?
Mercurio, whose core field of work includes the analysis of tweets and other online content to gauge public sentiment, is of the belief that there currently exists a strong correlation between the volume of social media posts related to a particular digital asset and its price. As part of his research, he claims to have often observed spikes in online articles when the price of a specific cryptocurrency changes. Mercurio went on to add:
“Social media posts remain more positive during times of price fluctuation compared to media coverage overall. Online enthusiasm regarding crypto has been overwhelmingly warm. We found that cryptocurrency-related subreddits were 55% more likely than media publications to have content with positive sentiment toward various cryptocurrencies.”
In a similar vein, to look at the impact that social media influencers have on the crypto industry, we can turn to a few high-profile individuals such as Elon Musk and LA Chargers’ star Russell Okung, both of whom have been advocating for the widespread adoption of crypto for quite some time now. In fact, Okung has sent out several requests to the NFL, asking the league (since the start of 2019) to provide its employees with the option of getting paid in crypto — a petition that is backed by fellow NFL star Matt Barkley.
It thus appears as though the crypto market will continue to grow, mainly because people want to find newer economic avenues that are free from the involvement of any corporations or government-controlled agencies. However, a lot of this growth will depend on the use cases that emerge from this space. Also, as social media continues to play an ever-increasing role in arenas such as politics and public affairs, there is no reason to doubt its utility when it comes to crypto adoption.
Demand for virgin Bitcoin is currently at its all-time high.
In a world where the global crypto community continues to face a growing number of regulatory hurdles with each passing day, the term “virgin Bitcoin” is starting to become more common among digital currency enthusiasts. However, it is of utmost importance to clarify what this term actually means and the significance it carries.
According to Dave Jevans, the CEO of CipherTrace, virgin Bitcoins are essentially BTC tokens that do not have a transaction (TX) record associated with them. As a result of this, coins lack a defined attribution history, making them extremely useful for money launderers as well as other miscreants looking to mask the source of their illegally procured funds. Not only that, even the recipient typically has no traditional means of verifying the origin of the funds in question since virgin btc cannot be linked with any wallet or other cold storage entity.
Also, the Bitcoin blockchain serves as a decentralized ledger that allows anyone to follow the transaction history of a particular token with the touch of a button. For example, each Bitcoin carries with it a cryptographically provable history that contains a detailed record of ownership and transaction data associated with the token. Simply put, if a particular Bitcoin has been used to process even a single illegal activity in the past, all of its subsequent transactions will be tainted. This, according to Jevans, is one of the main reasons why certain cyber-savvy criminals go to such great lengths to launder their cryptocurrencies before putting them to use.
Virgin BItcoins on G-20 agenda
With all of the aforementioned information in mind, it is important to consider that, at the recently concluded G-20 summit that took place in Osaka, Japan, the core governing committee agreed to adopt the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — which are conventionally used in relation to fiat currencies — even for digital assets. On the subject, Cointelegraph spoke with Flex Yang, CEO of Babel Finance, who shared his thoughts on the issue at hand:
“When these standards go into effect, interexchange transactions will require transparency regarding senders and receivers of cryptocurrency. This opens doors to a wide berth of scrutiny as regulators probe different ledgers to determine what wallets participated in illicit crypto exchanges, hacks, etc. Bitcoin remains of interest to institutional investors, but their threshold for risk is much lower. With uncertainty as to how the crypto world will conform to the FATF standards, many traditional investors feel it best to air on the side of caution.”
Yang then went on to highlight the importance of virgin Bitcoins and how tainted crypto can become extremely tough to use when dealing with regulated financial institutions. For example, he pointed out that, if there existed even a sliver of proof that a particular Bitcoin had been used for shady activities in the past, that token could very well be seized or held indeterminately by regulators for a variety of legal reasons.“It’s like trying to deposit money in a bank that is from a drug cartel or criminal enterprise; banks will refuse to process transactions,” Yang explained.
So is it just virgin Bitcoin that people are after?
As things stand, it appears as though a whole host of institutional investors are primarily looking to source virgin BTC, even though a uniform regulatory code applies to other altcoins as well. Simply put, nearly any currency — be it digital or fiat — can be used to facilitate illegal transactions. However, since Bitcoin offers its owners more transparency when compared to hard cash, virgin coins can be painted clean in a much easier manner.
Additionally, it appears as though the Chinese government is particularly interested in virgin Bitcoins, even though it has not outwardly expressed any sort of leniency for individuals who may be in possession of these digital entities. According to Yang, China has yet to take any major action against its sprawling mining community. This is quite noteworthy because the demand for virgin Bitcoin seems to be spiking rapidly across the globe, and it seems as though mining operations in China are continuing to thrive and grow with each passing day. Yang then went on to say:
“The buyers are from US and other more regulated areas. China’s miners are just sellers….. Buyers may be pursuing these coins because of their novelty as well as the perceived ease-of-compliance in regulatory uncertainty. In truth, virgin Bitcoin might not benefit family funds or intuitions/individuals making the purchase. Still, there is clearly more confidence in virgin (or white) coin and it continues to fetch high premiums as a result.”
What is the problem with using Bitcoin that has a shady past?
At the very heart of the issue, Jevans notes that BTC that has a dark transaction history attached to it has more often than not been procured through a host of illegal pathways, such as global money laundering exercises or terrorism-related activities. And even after a particular token has been exchanged a large number of times, its payment trail can still quite easily be traced by investigators — thereby putting the owner at risk. The CEO of CipherTrace expounded on the topic by saying:
“Dark Tx histories also impede the fungibility of the btc if these tokens have a lower value. This a big concern for hedge funds that are concerned that their entire fund could be tainted by a few bad tokens. While this is less likely to affect those holding small amounts, larger traders could potentially, and unwittingly, hold larger amounts of stolen assets, lowering the value of their investment pool through association.”
Essentially, it appears as though even a single shady transaction can render a coin or token unclean. However, what is interesting is the fact that criminal Bitcoin can be sanitized by local governments by them selling such commodities after making a clear note of their past transactional history. The best example of this is when the United States Marshals Service held a sealed bid auction back in 2018 for a total of 3,813 Bitcoins (estimated to be worth $51.5 million at the time).
Virgin Bitcoin data worth taking a note of
As per CipherTrace’s crypto intelligence team, over 75% of all transactions taking place on the black market are facilitated using Bitcoin.
A large number of cyber criminals make use of techniques such as coin mixing to try and sever the path attached to a particular digital currency. And while it may still be possible to view the transaction history of a given token using advanced cryptographic methods, coin mixing makes the process extremely complicated.
Russian conspirators involved with the alleged 2016 election hack in the U.S. were presumed to have funded their operations in part via a host of different Bitcoin mining operations based across the globe.
In a similar vein, Jevans told Cointelegraph that virgin Bitcoins were also used to fund the registration payment for dcleaks.com.
CipherTrace’s studies have revealed that the recent crackdown carried out by the Iranian government on its mining sector were premeditated. Not only that, there are strong indicators suggesting that the local regime is currently making use of the confiscated mining gear for its personal gains.
Lastly, Jevans also commented on the premiums associated with virgin Bitcoin and how they differ from premiums related to regular BTC. On the subject, he was quoted as saying:
“When we investigated BestMixer in November of 2018 they charged 5% for their Gamma level which was supposedly virgin coins. CipherTrace research revealed that these tokens were not in fact unused rather they had been cleansed via exchange hopping. This certainly raised the visibility and value of freshly mined coins. Moreover, the falling regulatory curtain is raising the value of clean coins as it becomes harder to launder funds through regulated exchanges.”
Additionally, according to Yang, premiums associated with virgin Bitcoin currently lay around the 10% mark. However, established players who have been operating within this domain for many years now are known to markup virgin coins by over 30%.
The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission has approved four new crypto business operators to legally operate in the country. In addition to licensing a new crypto exchange, the government has officially approved the country’s first three digital token portals. Meanwhile, new rules, conditions, and procedures have been introduced for digital asset businesses.
Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has officially approved four new digital asset business operators. Under the country’s current regulatory framework for digital assets, which covers both cryptocurrency and digital tokens, a company can apply for a license to operate an exchange, a broker, or a dealer for cryptocurrency, digital tokens, or both. Separate licenses are required for cryptocurrency and digital tokens.
Among the four new digital asset business operators is Bitherb Co. Ltd. The company has received four licenses from the Thai SEC — one for providing a crypto exchange service, one for a digital token exchange service, one for a crypto brokerage service, and one for a digital token brokerage service. According to the commission’s website, the company has not begun operations.
Bitherb Co. Ltd. is a subsidiary of Japanese public company Remixpoint, which operates a regulated Japanese crypto exchange, Bitpoint Japan. It is co-founded by Asia Herb Association Bangkok Co. Ltd. Remixpoint revealed in February that it had obtained four licenses from the Thai SEC but the subsidiary had not been added to the SEC’s list of approved digital asset business operators at the time since its system still needed to be inspected and validated by the regulator. A representative of Bitpoint Japan told news.Bitcoin.com at the time that Bitherb “will begin to operate after [the] SEC inspects the company within 180 days after license acquisition (by July 30th, 2019).” Bitherb is now listed on the SEC website as an approved digital asset business operator.
Including Bitherb, Thailand now has four digital asset exchanges, all of which have been approved for both cryptocurrency and digital tokens. Three of them — Bitkub Online Co. Ltd. (Bitkub), Bitcoin Co. Ltd. (BX), and Satang Corporation (Satang Pro) — were approved in January. Another digital asset operator that has been approved by the Thai SEC is Coins TH. This company was approved in January to operate as a broker and a dealer for cryptocurrency.
First 3 Licensed ICO Portals Unveiled
Local media reported in March that the Thai SEC had approved the country’s first portal for initial coin offerings (ICOs). However, the commission neither made an official announcement about the approval nor disclosed the name of the portal it supposedly approved until now.
The country’s first three SEC-approved ICO portals have now been added to the commission’s website. They are Longroot (Thailand) Co. Ltd. (Longroot), T-box (Thailand) Co. Ltd. (T-box), and SE Digital Co. Ltd. (SE Digital). According to the regulator, none of them have started operations. Further, the latter two companies still need to have their systems inspected and validated by the SEC before they can begin operations.
ICO portals are an integral part of Thailand’s regulatory framework for digital tokens. To sell tokens to the public, the seller must obtain approval from the SEC and the tokens must be sold through an SEC-approved ICO portal. Thailand now has three ICO portals, but no ICO issuer has been approved so far.
In addition, the Thai SEC maintains two lists of “website, tokens, and coins the SEC has advised the public to be careful with any investment solicitations of such entities,” the commission detailed. The first list is for “digital tokens which have not applied or granted approval for offerings.” It comprises 21 names including Onecoin by OFC coin, DB token, ICO by Adventure Hostel Bangkok, and Muay Thai coin. The other list is for “persons and websites relating to digital assets which have not been licensed.” There are currently 18 entries on the list, including Q Exchange, a joint venture between Thai and South Korean companies.
Follow-Up Crypto Regulation
The Thai government’s Fiscal Policy Office has published the SEC’s follow-up regulation entitled “Rules, Conditions, and Procedures for Digital Asset Businesses.” It will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Among the rules set forth in this document is the capital requirements for digital asset businesses. For example, operators holding customer assets must generally maintain daily liquid capital of at least 15 million baht [~$485,572] and at least 5% of the customer’s asset value. The percentage requirement is lower if some of the assets are kept in cold storage. Digital asset exchanges that do not hold customer assets must maintain capital of at least 5 million baht.
Thailand enacted two royal decrees to regulate crypto assets on May 14 last year — the Royal Decree on the Digital Asset Businesses B.E. 2561 and the Royal Decree of the Amendment to the Revenue Code. The latter imposes levies on income derived from cryptocurrency and digital tokens. Prior to any token offerings, the issuers must obtain approval from the SEC and “the registration statement and draft prospectus shall be filed with the SEC office,” the government explained.
In March, the Thai SEC announced that four cryptocurrencies had been approved: BTC, ETH, XRP, and XLM. They can be legally used for investments in ICOs and as base trading pairs against other cryptocurrencies. This list replaces the previous one announced in June last year. However, approval does not make these coins legal tender, the regulator clarified.
Sunisa Thamphiban, Assistant Director of the Legal and Development Department at the Thai SEC, emphasized at a public seminar on July 11 that “the Digital Asset Act” aims to “supervise the middleman that will act as an intermediary in the exchange of digital assets.” She elaborated that they must comply with all of the requirements set by the SEC and the Office of the Anti-Money Laundering Committee in order to “prevent the use of digital assets for money laundering.”
What do you think of the way Thailand regulates cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Digital asset cybersecurity startup Fireblocks announced its launch out of stealth mode with $16 million in funding.
Digital asset cybersecurity startup Fireblocks announced its launch out of stealth mode with $16 million in funding, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on June 11.
Per the release, Fireblocks obtained the capital during its Series A funding round from Cyberstarts, Tenaya Capital, EightRoads (Fidelity INTL), Swisscom Ventures and MState. The startup reportedly counts crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, over-the-counter digital trading platform Genesis Global Trading and others among its customers, with the company declaring:
“Currently, Fireblocks is integrated with 15 digital asset exchanges and offers support for over 180 cryptocurrencies, tokens, and stablecoins.”
The author of the release claims that over $3 billion in digital assets have been stolen by hackers in the past 18 months and cites the 7,000 bitcoins (BTC) stolen from major crypto exchange Binance (worth $40,705,000 at the time). Michael Shaulov, CEO and co-founder of Fireblocks, is quoted in the announcement as saying:
“While Blockchain based assets by themselves are cryptographically secure, moving digital assets is a nightmare. After interviewing over 100 institutional customers, including hedge funds, broker-dealers, exchanges, and banks, we concluded that the current process is slow and highly susceptible to cyber attacks and human errors.”
Lastly, Shaulov claims that his startup created a platform which “secures the process and simplifies the movement of funds into one or two steps.”
As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, cryptocurrency wallet provider Komodo effectively hacked itself to prevent fraudsters from accessing its users’ funds.
Malaysia’s securities commission has begun registering cryptocurrency exchanges after it started regulating the crypto space earlier this year. The first three crypto trading platform operators have been conditionally approved and given nine months to comply with registration requirements. Meanwhile, 19 crypto exchanges have been told to cease operations.
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) announced Tuesday that it has registered three Recognized Market Operators (RMOs) to establish and operate digital asset exchanges (DAX) in the country. Malaysia started regulating its crypto industry in January, requiring anyone interested in operating a crypto exchange to register as an RMO with the commission. According to the announcement:
The three registered DAX operators are: Luno Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Sinegy Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd, Tokenize Technology (M) Sdn Bhd. The SC has given the new RMOs up to nine months to fully comply with all regulatory requirements.
The three will become the country’s first regulated crypto exchanges once they comply with the regulatory requirements. The commission also “advises members of the public to be mindful of the risks related to trading in digital assets, including risks of trading on exchanges that are not registered with the SC.”
David Low, general manager of crypto exchange Luno’s Southeast Asian operations, confirmed that once his exchange has met the commission’s conditions, it “will become one of only three digital asset exchanges to be regulated in Malaysia, allowing investors to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies.” Headquartered in London with regional hubs in Singapore and Cape Town, Luno entered Malaysia in 2015. The exchange claims to have close to 3 million opened wallets across over 40 countries.
19 Exchanges Must Cease Operations
The Securities Commission Malaysia has also ordered 19 crypto trading platforms to cease operations in the country and return funds and assets to investors, effective June 1. “Entities which have not been approved by the SC, including those which have previously been operating under the transitional period, are required to cease all activities immediately and return all monies and assets collected from investors,” the regulator emphasized, noting:
Operating a DAX without authorisation from the SC is an offence under securities laws … A person in breach may be liable to a fine or imprisonment term or both.
The commission maintains a regularly updated list of all approved exchange operators and those that are required to cease operations.
The 19 exchanges are Aes Signatum Berhad, Arbor Digital, B4u Exc, Belfrics Malaysia, Bitpoint Malaysia, Blokmy, Chako Global, Ezytronics (World Cloud Ventures), Finx Blockchain (Finx Capital), Getcoinapp, Gigaex, Mcp International, Mx Global, Pinkexc, Mbaex Online Pte Ltd. (Tezatech), Udax International, Upbit Malaysia, Vardiz Commerce, and Xbit Asia.
Regulation and Registration
Malaysia enacted the “Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019” on Jan. 15. The SC subsequently amended its Guidelines on Recognized Markets on Jan. 31 to introduce new requirements for crypto trading platform operators.
On Jan. 15, 45 crypto exchanges were operating in the country, according to the regulator’s website. Anyone wanting to operate a crypto asset platform had to submit an application to the commission by March 1, the regulator said at the time. Twenty-one of them were ordered to cease operations on March 1.
Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, the chairman of Securities Commission Malaysia, explained that “The new framework is part of the SC’s efforts to promote innovation while ensuring investor protection in the trading of digital assets.”
Low commented on Tuesday that “The regulation will ultimately bring clarity and protection to consumers and will ensure that all cryptocurrency businesses have adequate standards in place to protect investors and their funds.”
Another country that requires crypto exchanges to register with its financial regulator is Japan. However, they have to fully satisfy all the requirements before they can be registered. So far, 19 crypto exchanges have been registered and more than 140 have expressed interest in registering, the country’s top financial regulator has told news.Bitcoin.com. In addition, the media reported last week that the G20 leaders will discuss having a crypto exchange registry.
What do you think of how Malaysia regulates crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Securities Commission Malaysia.
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