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Malaysia Regulates Cryptocurrencies | New Rules that Must be Followed

Malaysia regulates cryptocurrencies as of today. The new rules affect both digital coins and ICOs (initial coin offerings). Though welcomed by many, the repercussions for those who don’t comply are deemed particularly harsh.

What will this mean for trading?

Malaysia Regulates Cryptocurrencies

The country’s Minister for Finance, Lim Guan Eng, announced that the order to regulate cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings as securities has come into force—effective today, January 15th.

Launching an unauthorized ICO or exchanging in cryptocurrencies without approval could result in a 10-year jail term and a $2.4 million USD fine:

“Any person offering an ICO or operating a digital asset exchange without SC’s approval may be punished, on conviction, with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and fine not exceeding RM10mil [$2.44 million].”

Ouch.

Pro Crypto

Despite the harsh repercussions for illegal trading, Malaysia is predominantly pro cryptocurrency. The minister stated:

“The Ministry of Finance (MOF) views digital assets, as well as its underlying blockchain technologies, as having the potential to bring about innovation in both old and new industries. 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.”

Trading

So what does this mean for traders as Malaysia regulates cryptocurrencies?

An official framework will be launched by the end of Q1 this year. This will detail the exact regulatory requirements for launching an ICO and trading on digital exchanges in the country. In general, crypto services and exchanges must obtain authorization from Malaysia’s Securities Commission. This body will work with the central bank to ensure compliance.

>> Russia to Avoid US Sanctions with $10 Billion Bitcoin Investment

As stated above, without official approval, traders face serious charges if caught.

The Capital Markets and Services Order 2019

Called ‘The Capital Markets and Services Order 2019,’ the next few months will prove crucial as traders and exchanges work to comply with the new relevant securities laws and seek approval by the commission.

India also recently regulated cryptocurrency. It spent most of 2018 implementing regulations for crypto services in its country.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © sinenkiy

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Russia to Avoid US Sanctions with $10 Billion Bitcoin Investment

According to a Russian economist with ties to the Kremlin, the superpower is preparing a massive $10 billion USD investment in Bitcoin to replace its US dollar reserves. Russia’s Bitcoin investment is a step to minimize US sanctions on the country.

Russia’s Bitcoin Investment

Vladislav Ginko, an economist at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, said the Bitcoin investment was a step taken to avoid US sanctions on Russia.

Ginko believes that Russia’s decision to hold Bitcoin as a reserve currency instead of the US dollar is a move being made to “protect [Russia’s] national interests” in light of a possible interruption of “US nominated payments flows for Russian oil and gas.”

Russia’s Bitcoin investment is expected to begin in February. Mr. Ginko furthered:

“[The] Russian government is about to make a step to start diversifying financial reserves into Bitcoin since Russia [is] forced by US sanctions to dump US Treasury bonds and [take] back US dollars […]These sanctions and the will to adopt modern financial technologies lead Russia to the way of investing its reserves into Bitcoin.”

US Sanctions Behind the Bitcoin Investment?

US sanctions have hit the Russian rouble hard. Now the superpower wants to replace some of its US dollar reserves with the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

>> Are Stablecoins the Future? The Winklevoss Twins Seem to Think So!

Recent US sanctions on Russia came after the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal in London. The former Russian military officer was a double agent for the UK’s Intelligent Services. Two active Russian military intelligent officers attacked Sergei and his daughter Yulia, with a nerve agent.

Russia and Crypto

Cryptocurrencies are very popular in Russia and even receive approval by the country’s President Vladimir Putin. According to Ginko, the cryptocurrency industry accounts for 8% of Russia’s GDP.

The Bitcoin investment is not the only sign of ‘de-dollarisation’ by the country. It has recently bolstered its supply of the euro, Chinese renminbi, and Japanese yen.

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Are Stablecoins the Future? The Winklevoss Twins Seem to Think So!

Are stablecoins the future of crypto? Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Bitcoin bulls and Gemini Exchange founders, seem to think so. This morning, an interview was published by Fortune where the twins discussed their first marketing campaign for Gemini.

Stablecoins and Gemini

The famous twins feel digital currency has a bright future, but there need to be banking-style regulations in order for investors to trust it.

“The idea is that companies that build on top of things like Bitcoin should have regulation that’s thoughtful and that doesn’t stifle innovation,” said Tyler on Fortune’s
‘Balancing the Ledger.’ “People believe in the dream of crypto, they just don’t know how to engage in it without getting burned. We’re here to say Gemini’s a place you can do that.”

The newly launched Gemini campaign encompasses just that and is called ‘Revolution Needs Rules.’ The Winklevoss Twins have the ad spread all across Wall Street and have even purchased a full-page in the New York Times.

Crypto has been in quite the bear market the past year, and the twins believe that stablecoins (digital currencies pegged to a fiat currency) are a bright spot for this downturn. It just so happens that the twins have created their own stablecoin for their platform named the Gemini Dollar, pegged to the US dollar. Stablecoins seem to be the new trend among the crypto community, as crypto’s high volatility seems to be its biggest deterrent.

>> Ethereum-Based “Stock” Exchange DX Plagued with Security Issues

However, like Tether (USDT), it is hard to tell if the coin is really pegged to the dollar and how that process even works. The Winklevoss twins explained in their interview that at least 60% of US 100 dollar bills are held overseas. They think this practice could be simplified if the holders just used stablecoins, instead of actual dollars.

With so many new stablecoins in circulation now, it will be difficult to keep up with them all, but the fakes can easily be exposed since they all should hold the same value.

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Ethereum-Based “Stock” Exchange DX Plagued with Security Issues

The highly anticipated Ethereum-based “stock” exchange, DX, launched this week! Despite the vast enthusiasm for the project, problems were immediately discovered regarding the company’s security. The launch on January 7th was only a soft launch, but traders aren’t pleased with the lack of security the platform has initially provided.

Ethereum-Based DX.Exchange Flaws

At launch, the exchange reported a few outages as the site couldn’t handle the traffic that was being brought to it. What intrigued most investors was DX’s promise that it would have major tech stocks like Apple and Tesla on the exchange from the start. To bypass US security laws, the Ethereum-based exchange is not open to US residents.

However, DX’s CEO and co-founder recently just made claims that the exchange will hit the US sometime this year. How they will get that approved by the SEC is beyond me. Especially considering the public companies being listed on the exchange don’t benefit whatsoever from the listing.

DX’s soft launch exposed an array of issues with the platform that investors weren’t pleased with.

An anonymous trader told CCN that he created a dummy account of the site, in order to test its robustness, and discovered shocking details.  Allegedly, the trader found that the request he sent from his browser to the exchange included information about the authenticated token and the user’s details to access the account.

>> Bitcoin Price: Another Sudden Sell-Off After a Steady Month

In addition to the private and public keys, the information included the password reset link. Basically, the trader could fully access any affected account of the user’s account if it wasn’t already logged out of. Furthermore, he found he could access some accounts even after the user had logged out.

The Ethereum-based exchange quickly caught wind of this and took action.

Shortly after, DX published a blog post of the incident addressing the patches placed in their security issues. If you live outside the US and were considering trading on the DX platform, I strongly recommend you hold off—for now.

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Bitcoin Price | Another Sudden Sell-Off After a Steady Month

At this point, there doesn’t need to be a reason for Bitcoin price to drop suddenly. The market is so volatile by nature it is almost pointless to look for why. So, in true fashion, yesterday’s sudden sell-off confirms just that.

There was no major market news reported, and despite this, Bitcoin price dropped 10% in a 24-hour period. Go figure.

The drop ended what was a (relatively) steady month for the coin.

Bitcoin Price Drop

Of course, where Bitcoin goes, others tend to follow, and so the entire market entered another period of sell-offs yesterday. Until this point, you could almost believe that the market would recover from December 2017’s mighty crash.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin price is valued at $3,693.

Crypto Market

The Bitcoin price decline was bad, but it wasn’t the worst. Other altcoins fared worst yesterday. Some of the day’s biggest losers included Ethereum (ETH), which traded down 15.4% selling for $126.31. Ripple (XRP) was also down 11.1% selling for $0.33. Litecoin (LTC) was down 14.9% at $32.99, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was down 16.8%, selling for $131.92.

According to CoinMarketCap, the entire cryptocurrency market value was down 10.6% in the 24-hour period, standing at $122.7 billion.

>> Bitwise Files Bitcoin ETF With SEC: Another ETF Hopeful

Volatile

As stated, the crash needs no explanation, and no doubt won’t be the last. Bitcoin is a different looking coin in 2019 than it was in 2017. At its current value, Bitcoin price is down 80% what it was worth from its peak in December 2017.

It is for this reason that many people are torn over cryptocurrency’s ability to serve as a viable form of currency usable in everyday situations. The underlying technology of the blockchain underpinning every coin is considered a technological achievement useable for many purposes. The coins, as a payment system, however, tell a different story.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © sinenkiy

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