Malaysia Regulator Approves International Crypto Exchange Luno

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The strict financial regulator in Malaysia is trying to help the local fintech industry scale up and attract new investors. As part of that trend, the Malaysia Securities Commission is recognizing the right of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Luno to serve local customers.

Malaysia Approves Digital Asset Exchanges

Luno, the London-headquartered company formerly known as Bitx, has announced on Tuesday that it has been given approval by the Malaysia Securities Commission to operate as a recognized market operator in the Southeast Asian country. Luno is one of only three initial companies that the Malaysian regulator allowed to register when it began the process in June. Luno has now been found by the regulator to have satisfied all the required conditions for approval.

“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 said. “This is a significant achievement and shows the importance of digital assets today and the long-term value of cryptocurrency.”

The Malaysia Securities Commission was hosting its annual fintech conference on Tuesday, focused on the regulator’s move to broaden the opportunities for a new generation of investors to raise capital or achieve their financial goals. The regulator was happy to note that the Malaysian fintech ecosystem is now home to alternative financing platforms as well as a diverse range of ventures such as digital asset exchanges.

“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,” stated Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, Chairman of the Securities Commission.

Strict Approval Process

When new regulations came into force in June there were nineteen other companies operating in Malaysia during the application process, besides the three that were finally allowed to register, which were all then ordered to cease operations. Before that 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, CEO of Luno, commented on Wednesday: “The announcement yesterday of more exchanges being granted Recognized Market Operator (Digital Asset Exchange) status in Malaysia is important as it is a regulator 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 stabilize and develop the sector.”

Luno claims to have around 3 million users worldwide, spread across 40 countries. The company also has local offices in South Africa, Indonesia, Nigeria, Singapore and Malaysia, with a workforce of over 300 employees around the world. It recently added bitcoin cash trading to the platform following feedback from its client base, making BCH only the third cryptocurrency available for trading on the exchange.

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