Following-up on the announcement of Luno getting approval from the Securities Commission of Malaysia this earlier in the week. We reached out to Aaron Tang, Country Manager of Malaysia at Luno to hear about what this approval means to Malaysia and to Luno moving forward.
Malaysia will be imposing 6k cash transaction fees in 2020, did Luno see an increase in sign-ups?
We don’t think the increase in sign-ups we’ve seen has anything to do with cash transaction limits or fees. Malaysians have shown excitement and appetite for cryptocurrencies for years now, back in 2017 over 600 million ringgit was traded on Luno in a single month. The interest around new forms of investment is clearly linked to the need for inclusive and safe alternatives that embrace innovation.
How does Luno present in Malaysia shift from how it has been since 2015 from now?
Authorities in Malaysia are leading the pack, putting in place forward-looking regulations that will help increase trust, weed out bad actors, and form the foundation for large-scale institutional money to come into the crypto ecosystem. Luno is the first Recognized Market Operator to receive full approval from the Securities Commission of Malaysia. This legal framework ensures that compliant cryptocurrency businesses have adequate standards in place for the protection of customers and their funds.
For example, one major change is we now work with an independent trustee to safeguard customers’ Malaysian ringgit assets. Much like other capital market investments (like unit trusts or bonds), the funds are secured in a licensed financial institution by the trustee. This allows customers to have peace of mind knowing that there are multiple layers of security and processes for all their assets.
Additionally, our team in Malaysia has grown tremendously from when we first started back in 2015. This allows us to focus a lot more on ensuring a great experience for all our customers. We will also be focusing a lot on education and awareness initiatives which are in line with the Malaysian government’s National Strategy for Financial Literacy. Malaysians can look out for our education programs on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency very soon.
What does this approval mean for Luno?
This approval is setting the standard for the rest of the world since the appetite for innovation and financial inclusion exists in many more places. We are sure governments across the region and the world are taking note and will follow the Malaysian example, providing clarity for cryptocurrency companies to operate either within existing frameworks or with new licenses.
Future competition? Will there be new players coming up?
We cannot speak about the future, what we can be sure of is that through sensible regulation customers are protected and innovation is promoted. Malaysia has a history of creating and adopting new products and services faster than most, so it would not be surprising if some of the first crypto-native use cases came from this country.