Malaysia formulating regulatory framework for crypto currencies

Physical representation of Bitcoin digital currency.

Malaysia has begun work on a regulatory structure for digital currencies such as bitcoin, its central bank governor said on Wednesday, aimed at further securing Malaysia against money-laundering and terrorism financing.

Governor Muhammad Ibrahim told a counter-terrorism financing summit that from next year those converting crypto currencies into conventional currency will be designated as “reporting institutions” under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

Reporting institutions are required by law to undertake preventive measures to prevent their firms from being used as a conduit for money laundering and terrorism financing activities, according to the central bank.

“This is to prevent the abuse of the system for criminal and unlawful activities and ensuring the stability and integrity of the financial system,” Muhammad said.

He did not say when the regulations would be finalised.

Commenting on terrorism financing in Malaysia, Muhammad said the total number of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) from financial institutions have increased this year.

In the first six months of this year, Malaysian authorities received 346 STRs related to terrorism financing which have led to 34 disclosures to law enforcement agencies, compared to 93 reports in 2015, the central bank governor said.

Malaysia has arrested hundreds of people over the past few years for suspected links to militant groups. The Southeast Asian country has been on high alert since suicide bombers and gunmen linked to Islamic State launched multiple attacks in Jakarta, the capital of neighbouring Indonesia, in January 2016.

A grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in June last year wounded eight people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, the first such attacks on Malaysian soil.

Meanwhile, Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the country has been sharing intelligence with Indonesia, Malaysia and others in the region for many years.

“Any information that we have that is relevant to the security of our friends in the region, we will share. My expectation is that will be reciprocated,” Keenan said at the summit.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.