Malaysia securities watchdog approves digital asset exchange Luno

By Staff Writer

Luno, the London-based crypto exchange, has announced that it has been given approval by the Malaysia Securities Commission to operate as a recognized market operator in the country. Luno is one of the only three initial companies that the Malaysian regulator allowed to register when it began the process in June.

“We’ve been working closely with regulators and banks from day one and we’re now excited to be able to provide customers the ability to buy, sell and trade crypto on our platform,” Luno general manager of Southeast Asia, David Low was quoted as saying. “This is a significant achievement and shows the importance of digital assets today and the long-term value of cryptocurrency.”

The Malaysian financial watchdog believes digital exchanges will avail broader opportunities for investors to raise capital in the homegrown fintech ecosystem. The Malaysian SC held its annual fintech conference on Tuesday.

“We are pleased to note that these platforms continue to serve a number of MSME [micro, small and medium enterprises] sectors including high tech, education, retail, F&B and consumer product; and have attracted many new investors especially young investors aged 35 and below,” the Securities Commission chair Datuk Syed Zaid Albar was quoted as saying.

Malaysian regulators are not known for leniency when it came to digital exchanges.

When new regulations came into force in June there were nineteen other companies operating in Malaysia during the application process. While the three were finally allowed to register, which were all then ordered to cease operations.  Earlier, twenty-one other exchanges were ordered by the regulator to cease operations on March 1.

The rate of approved to non-approved exchanges makes the process highly selective and limits the trading venues open to Malaysians.

Marcus Swanepoel, chief executive of Luno, said that the latest development is “important as it is a regulator (Securities Commission) looking to work with and develop digital assets for the benefit of businesses and communities. As regulatory oversight increases around the world this will help stabilise and develop the sector.”

Luno claims to have around 3 million users in nearly 40 countries. The company also has local offices in South Africa, Indonesia, Nigeria, Singapore and Malaysia, and employs about 300 world.

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