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.
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
“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 stabilise 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.
Malaysian Ministry of Education Fights Fake Degrees With Blockchain Tech
The Malaysian Ministry of Education has introduced E-Skrol, an application built on the NEM blockchain to deal with the issue of certificate fraud through the use of blockchain technology.
In a Sept. 19 article by local news agency Bernama, the Ministry of Education in Malaysia announced that the previously introduced E-Skrol blockchain application, which makes it possible to verify the authenticity of Maylaysian educational degrees, will now be available for all public and private universities in the country.
The E-Skrol application aims to tackle the increasing cases of fake educational degrees in Malaysia, which can be obtained online from so-called diploma mills.
Education Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik stated that the issue of degree forgeries has had a negative impact on the Malaysian higher education system, adding:
“There are people who latch on to the reputation of Malaysian public universities to improve their profiles by displaying fake certificates. I believe the blockchain application can change this situation.’
The education minister added that now anyone, anywhere in the world can verify the data of any graduate of a Malaysian university, including their name, full transcript, graduation date and class of degree through the application and scanning the QR code, which are printed on the certificates.
Malaysia aims to attract blockchain professionals
In June, Cointelegraph reported that the Malaysian government launched a work visa program targeting blockchain-capable talents from all over the world. The program aims to attract foreign professionals who will have the right to stay in the country for up to 12 months to provide blockchain-related services or undergo training at a Malaysian company.
MDEC growth ecosystem development vice-president Norhizam Abdul Kadir said, “We will be kicking it off starting with blockchain jobs. The number of visas to be issued depends on the projects that will be run by blockchain companies in Malaysia.”