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Malaysia Introduces Cryptocurrency Regulation

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The central bank of Malaysia has introduced a set of guidelines to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Under the new policy issued by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), digital currency exchanges will be subject to the Anti-Money-Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act of 2001.

Exchanges will be required to verify their customer's identity, monitor trades and report suspicious activity to regulators.

Cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to publish prices and the methodology used to determine them.

BNM had issued draft regulations in December with the twin aims of preserving a stable financial system while also thwarting criminal activity related to cryptocurrencies.

The new policy was finalized after considering feedback received during the public consultation period on the draft policy.

In the wake of surging crypto craze, Governments around the world are actively looking for ways to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The Malaysian authorities had expressed concern that digital currencies may be used by criminals or terrorist groups for money-laundering or illicit financing, leading to calls for increased transparency and regulation.

Malaysia's Financial Intelligence Unit had tracked 346 terrorism-related suspicious transactions in the first half of 2017, that showed the use of financial system for terrorism financing was on the rise in the country.

Bank Negara Malaysia had made it clear that cryptocurrencies were not legally accepted payment methods, and hence would not be protected by the country's existing dispute-resolution systems.

At least four cryptocurrency exchanges currently operate in Malaysia.

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