While Malaysia has been contemplating cryptocurrency legislation for some time, latest news emerging from the South East Asian country reveals that the government may designate tokens and digital assets as securities and bring them under the jurisdiction of Malaysian Securities Commission. As part of the new legislation, any person offering illegal and unregistered initial coin offerings and other token projects will also be penalized with a reported jail sentence of up to 10 years and MYR 10 million (USD 2.45 million) fine.
According to a Reuters report, the new legislation called The Capital Markets and Services Order 2019 will bring tokenized assets under the control of the central securities commission of the country. According to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, the new legislation will be effective from 15 January onwards.
While the new regulations seem to be harsh, Malaysian News outlet The Star highlighted the positives in the new move: “The Ministry of Finance views digital assets, as well as its underlying blockchain technologies, as having the potential to bring about innovation in both old and new industries.”
While Lim believes that ICOs and tokens will provide a valuable alternative for raising capital and other officials have also welcomed the sector, the new regulations are tough. The Malaysian blockchain industry has boomed in recent years because of loose regulations but, with stricter authority in the hands of the Securities Commission, the future remains uncertain for the sector.
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