Unauthorized crypto exchange activities to attract a 10-year jail term, reveals Lim Guan

The Malaysian Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, has revealed that the entities or individuals being involved with unauthorized crypto exchange activities will be jailed for ten years or pay a fine of 2.4 million U.S dollars.

The same will apply for entities or persons holding initial coin offerings (ICOs) without complying with all the regulatory guidelines. The minister indicated that unauthorized crypto exchange activities will fall under the jurisdiction of the country’s financial market regulator.

Even with such a heavy fine, Eng believes that virtual currencies and the technology that underpins them, are capable of stirring innovation across industries whether new or old.

Guan added that:

In particular, we believe digital assets have a role to play as an alternative fundraising avenue for entrepreneurs and new businesses, and an alternative asset class for investors.

The finance minister said that the Securities Commission Malaysia (SCM) which is the country’s financial watchdog, will be the one to develop a regulatory framework around virtual assets. The framework will encompass ICOs “and the trading of digital assets at digital asset exchanges in Malaysia.”

As reported by Cryptolinenews, the Malaysian central bank does not recognize cryptocurrencies as a legal tender. However, for those planning to be involved with payments, whether they are cryptocurrency exchanges or they want to issue an initial coin offering, they must follow the bank’s set guidelines.

As part of the Securities Commission Malaysia guidelines, all entities being involved with ICOs and virtual currency exchange activities will have to provide adequate checks to prevent cryptos from being used to finance terrorists or other illegal activities.

A clear crypto regulatory framework is anticipated to be available by the end of March this year.

Do you think a 10-year jail term is too harsh for unauthorized crypto exchange activities?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


Philip is an experienced blogger keen on staying updated with trends and news surrounding the blockchain and Bitcoin space. With several years of freelance experience in various industries, Philip brings his knowledge and experience into the crypto space.

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