Bank Negara Malaysia issues policy document for digital currencies
Bank Negara Malaysia (“the Bank”) has issued the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Policy for Digital Currencies (Sector 6) which has taken into account feedback received during the public consultation period on the exposure draft released on 14 December 2017. The policy aims to ensure that effective measures are in place against money laundering and terrorism financing risks associated with the use of digital currencies and to increase the transparency of digital currency activities in Malaysia.
The Bank received feedback from representatives of existing digital currency exchangers, industry associations, law firms, financial institutions, academia as well as interested individuals.
Feedback received from respondents mainly focused on the obligations imposed on digital currency exchangers, including businesses providing intermediary services involving digital currencies. The Bank wishes to reiterate that the invocation of reporting obligations on digital currency exchange business does not in any way connote the authorisation, licensing, endorsement or validation by the Bank of any entities involved in the provision of digital currency exchange services. Where relevant, these matters have been further elaborated in the policy document.
The public is reminded that digital currencies are not legal tender in Malaysia. Accordingly, digital currency businesses are not covered by prudential and market conduct standards or arrangements that are applicable to financial institutions regulated by the Bank. Members of the public are advised to carefully evaluate the risks associated with dealings in digital currencies.
Any persons carrying on activities involving digital currencies should refer to the details within the policy to determine its applicability and comply accordingly. Persons covered under the policy as reporting institutions are expected to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act 2016 including the requirement to be incorporated or registered.
As envisaged in the policy document, the Bank will continue to monitor developments in this area through data submitted to the Bank, and the Bank may publish information that is relevant to inform the public on risks associated with digital currency activities.
Members of the public may access the policy document as well as a list of common questions and feedback on the Bank’s website at http://www.bnm.gov.my/.