Malaysia’s Securities Commission has ordered the Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi to cease operations. This was done in order to enforce regulatory compliance. The commission discovered that Huobi was functioning as a digital asset exchange without the required registration and Recognised Market Operator (RMO) license.
Not only has the Securities Commission ordered the closure of Huobi’s local activities. It has also issued a public reprimand to the exchange and its creator, Leon Li. As Huobi’s CEO, Li has been tasked with overseeing the process of closing down local operations. He has been canceling interactions with Malaysian investors, deactivating the website, and removing the mobile app from app stores.
The regulatory action was intended to resolve concerns about Huobi’s compliance with local legislation and to protect investors’ interests. The judgment of the commission underscores Malaysia’s commitment to ensuring a robust and safe environment for crypto-related activity.
While Malaysia is not usually acknowledged as a major player in the global crypto arena, recent developments indicate that the country is making progress in this area. The Malaysian central bank will take part in a trial run by the Bank for International Settlements in September 2021.
In a more recent shift, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Zahidi Zainul, has stated his support for Bitcoin’s legal tender status. At a parliamentary session, Zainul stated that allowing Bitcoin to be regarded as legal cash would be advantageous. The government’s attitude on this issue, however, is yet to be seen.
In addition, the central bank stated in January that it was working on a proof of concept for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This set the groundwork for a potential future release of a nationally-backed digital asset.
As Malaysia navigates the fast-changing blockchain ecosystem, the recent closure of Huobi’s operations demonstrates the authorities’ willingness to maintain compliance and protect investors’ interests. The future of cryptocurrencies in Malaysia is looking bright. This is with continuous attempts to investigate CBDC implementation and speculations about the legalization of Bitcoin.