Given the ongoing Coronavirus taking place in China and in the surrounding region, having a large impact on the crypto activities such as conferences and communities, we continue to believe Southeast Asia (SEA) may be potentially spared as one of the breakout regions in the eastern hemisphere in 2020. As we emphasized earlier this year, we advise our readers to pay attention more to SEA this year. SEA will see a concentrated and robust number of crypto activities in many of its regional countries, whether that’s focused on crypto, blockchain or digital currencies.
For our next few premium posts, we’ll be diving into the recent trends and ongoing opportunities in blockchain and digital currencies in SEA.
Crypto Trends in Malaysia
The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry in Malaysia are still relatively nascent and modest in size, volume and velocity of growth. Nevertheless, the regulators have been monitoring carefully and looking to global authorities to formulate frameworks to tackle the issues raised by digital assets.
Malaysia’s banks already enjoy leading position within the ASEAN region. Fintech developments in Malaysia have seen a massive surge of new startups, products and services in the past few years. Conventional banks are also joining in the rush of the new digital economy.
The approach by the authorities to cryptocurrency has been rather lax, in comparison to its neighboring countries like Thailand and Singapore. A big part of that development path will stem from regulations from the Central Bank and Securities Commissions.
Crypto and Blockchain Trends by Category in the Country:
- Letter of credit on blockchain- For example, Major bank HSBC has announced the successful enactment of a letter of credit on a blockchain in Malaysia.
- Crypto digital banking- United Kingdom-based digital cryptocurrency banking app Revolut announced a major partnership in 2019 with Visa to expand its services globally across 24 new markets, including Malaysia.
- Fundraising on blockchain- United States-based film producer Ryan Kavanaugh’s Proxima Media has unveiled a $100 million investment for a cryptocurrency-based film funding tool. It’s related token Proxicoin reportedly plans to issue Ethereum-based security tokens that allow holders to invest in movies and TV shows. The company said that the token has already been built and audited, and that a deal with Malaysia-based Fusang Exchange has been set to launch it.
- Lending and borrowing on blockchain- Kuala Lumpur-based Bursa Malaysia, the country’s stock exchange, is working on a blockchain-enabled security borrowing and lending proof-of-concept.
- Interbank trading on blockchain- Bank Negara Malaysia‘s blockchain-powered trade finance applications together with nine banking partners.
- Regulation- The Malaysia Commission seems enthusiastic about the prospect for security tokens, announcing that they would work with the country’s central bank to create a full legal framework for digital assets by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
- First licensed venue- Fusang Exchange, part of the Hong Kong-based financial provider Fusang Group, has just announced in September 2019 that they have been approved by regulators in Labaun, Malaysia. Fusang Exchange is that it will operate as a traditional securities exchange, but will also offer security token markets.
- Crackdown on fake degrees through blockchain- The Malaysian Ministry of Education is also trying to tackle the increasing cases of fake educational degrees in its country. It introduced E-Skrol, an application built on the NEM blockchain to deal with the issue of certificate fraud through the use of blockchain technology.
- Logistics on blockchain- In May 2019, the Singapore and Malaysia division of Domino’s Pizza teamed up with Dutch blockchain firm SingularityNET to deploy its blockchain-enabled artificial intelligence technology.
- Smart city crypto payments- Malacca is looking to build the Malacca Straits City, a “tourist blockchain-destination of the future.” Launched by China Wuyi, an engineering and construction company based in China, the future city will issue its own cryptocurrency, DMIcoin, which will be used to pay for public services. Cash will be banned.
- Crypto Trading and Exchanges
- Exchanges- The Securities Commission Malaysia has registered cryptocurrency exchanges Luno Malaysia, Sinegy Technologies and Tokenize Technology.
Kuala Lumpur’s financial markets are nascent but have a lot of potentials. Some of the leading banks in ASEAN such as Maybank and CIMB are there, and it also sees a world-class commercial infrastructure. With the proper regulatory support, Malaysia could potentially emerge as one of the leading hubs for digital asset innovation in Asia.