Author Topic: DIGITAL CURRENCY  (Read 609 times)

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DIGITAL CURRENCY
« on: November 27, 2017, 09:09:02 PM »



Digital currencies set to go mainstream
CORPORATE NEWS
Saturday, 25 Nov 2017

by cecilia kok

image: https://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/11/25/01/07/bizd_2511_psj_p8b_psj_1.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=1D72514E123CCF0811B9522E1ECFEC3347703EF0

Digital coin: A file picture showing an  image of bitcoin and US currencies displayed on a screen at a conference in Singapore. Led by bitcoin and ethereum, the typical daily trading volume of all major cryptocurrencies combined is well in excess of US2bil (RM8.24bil) these days. — AFP
Digital coin: A file picture showing an image of bitcoin and US currencies displayed on a screen at a conference in Singapore. Led by bitcoin and ethereum, the typical daily trading volume of all major cryptocurrencies combined is well in excess of US2bil (RM8.24bil) these days. — AFP

Bank Negara’s move to regulate the tokens expected to instil public confidence in their viability

Salient points
• Guidelines to be unveiled before year-end
• Sceptics concerned about risks of fraud and volatility
• Digital monies can be the new norm

LIKE it or not, cryptocurrencies are set to go mainstream in Malaysia.

Bank Negara’s move to regulate the world of digital monies in the country from next year onwards is expected to instil some public confidence in the viability of these tokens, and hence encourage the growth of cryptocurrency adoption in the local market.


For a start, though, Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim over the week announced that from 2018 onwards, all parties acting as exchanges in the digital currency space would be deemed as “reporting institutions” under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla) 2001.

That means those involved in the business of converting digital currencies into fiat-money currencies or legal tender would be required to provide detailed information on buyers and sellers of such currencies.

Move welcomed

Industry players in the financial technology (fintech) sector welcome the move as a means to add credibility to cryptocurrencies and ensure that the technological developments for digital currencies and the underlying blockchain technology that supports them are not hampered.

Quoine co-founder and CEO Mike Kayamori, for one, notes regulatory developments could foster the growth of cryptocurrencies in Malaysia.

“Regulating digital currency exchanges is a move in the right direction to facilitate the inevitable mainstream adoption of digital currencies in the financial sector,” Kayamori says.

image: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/11/25/digital-currencies-set-to-go-mainstream/~/media/1b0022ebf96b409f98d5d40f4bf86566.ashx?h=560&w=400

Universal currency: Raja Teh Maimunah says regulators should allow the usage of cryptocurrency in Malaysia, as the electronic money can serve as an universal currency.
Universal currency: Raja Teh Maimunah says regulators should allow the usage of cryptocurrency in Malaysia, as the electronic money can serve as an universal currency.
 
“This step by the Malaysian government will open doors for licensed cryptocurrency exchanges like ourselves to enter the Malaysian crypto market. We are looking forward to more regulatory developments to foster a secure, global blockchain fintech ecosystem,” he tells StarBizWeek in an email.

Quoine is a cryptocoin exchange operator with offices in Japan, Vietnam and Singapore. The operator, which recently raised US$105mil in an oversubscribed initial coin offering (ICO) of its QASH tokens, is the first global cryptocurrency fintech company to receive a license from Japan Financial Services Agency.

Kayamori says Quoine fully supports a pro-regulation practice of cryptocurrencies to protect the stability of the financial system and prevent cyber hacks.

Mriganka Pattnaik, country head of South-East Asia of Luno, shares the same sentiment, noting that sound regulatory initiatives for cryptocurrencies will help boost the industry and usher in the mainstream adoption of digital monies in Malaysia.

In an email, Mriganka tells StarBizWeek: “We share Bank Negara’s goals of keeping the financial and digital currency industry free from criminal and unlawful activities in Malaysia and around the world. This move is a positive step for the cryptocurrency industry, as it provides a more trusted and secure framework overall.”

Luno is a Bitcoin company headquartered in London with operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa the United Kingdom and 35 other European countries.

At present, Malaysians have access to up to 11 cryptocurrency exchanges locally, of which Luno is one. There are more than a hundred such exchanges globally that Malaysians can also access. These are websites where one can buy, sell or exchange cryptocurrencies for other digital tokens or traditional currencies such as the US dollar and the ringgit.

It is not clear what are the total value of the transactions of these 11 exchanges.

Led by bitcoin and ethereum, the typical daily trading volume of all major cryptocurrencies combined is well in excess of US$2bil (RM8.24bil) these days.

The new norm

Needless to say, there are still sceptics who remain unconvinced of the viability and purported merits of cryptocurrencies. This is in part due to the relative novelty of cryptocurrencies, which only burst into the scene in 2009, with the invention of Bitcoin.

Concerns of these sceptics range from risks of fraud to volatility and illiquidity. There is also concerns that rogue parties such as terrorists and money launders are planning or already using cryptocurrencies.

But proponents of cryptocurrencies believe that digital currencies are an inevitable development that offers many new opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners.

One such proponent who thinks cryptocurrency is a “brilliant idea” is AmInvestment Bank CEO Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz.

She argues that regulators should allow the usage of cryptocurrency in Malaysia, as the electronic money can serve as an universal currency, while helping to eliminate foreign exchange cost.

Believing that cryptocurrency would evolve into another form of medium of exchange, she projected that the current fiat currency could turn into an alternative currency in the future.

“I support cryptocurrency because it is a global trade,” Raja Teh Maimunah was quoted as saying on the sidelines of the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum in Kuching, Sarawak, recently.

She believes cryptocurrency will evolve into another form of medium of exchange, and projects the current fiat money to turn into an alternative currency in the future.

Where is Bank Negara’s stance?

Well, the central bank does acknowledge the possibility of digital currencies becoming the “new norm”, and hence, it cannot be oblivious to these developments.

“We need to prepare ourselves, as according to many *, digital currencies will become the new norm. The advent of digital currencies as some have forecast, will mark the beginning of a new era in the financial sector. As authorities, we cannot be oblivious to these developments,” Muhammad said recently.

This is in contrast to the statement by Bank Negara back in January 2014 that said cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin were not recognised as legal tender in Malaysia.

At present, cryptocurrency transactions in Malaysia are tax-free, as digital currencies are not considered assets or legal tender by the authorities.

However, Muhammad had in recent months indicated that Bank Negara would introduce guidelines by the end of this year if it were to recognise cryptocurrencies.

Tightening the reins

Bank Negara’s decision to designate all cryptocurrency exchanges as “reporting institutions” under Amla beginning 2018 is the first notable move to regulate the world of cryptocurrencies in Malaysia.

This initiative, announced ahead of the release of the official guidelines, is predominantly aimed at preventing the abuse of the system for criminal and unlawful activities and ensuring the stability and integrity of the Malaysian financial system.

As “reporting institutions” under Amla, cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to undertake preventive measures to prevent their platforms from being used as a conduit for money laundering and terrorism financing activities. These preventive measures include conducting risk assessment; application of customer due diligence; submission of suspicious transaction report (STR) and cash threshold report; and maintenance and retention of records of transactions.

Violation of the Amla is punishable by fines, imprisonment, and freezing and seizure of assets.

While there is no conclusive proof that money laundering and terrorism financing goes through the trading of cryptocurrencies, some reports indicate that rogue parties are showing an increasing interest in cryptocurrencies.

On that note, Muhammad says the role of the financial sector as a bulwark against money laundering and terrorism financing had become even more critical, given the rise of fintech, which posted global investments totalling US$25bil (RM102.8bil) last year, compared with US$9bil in 2010.

“If this trend is anything to go by, the financial industry will be hard pressed to mitigate, identify and prevent cases of abuse in the system,” he says, adding that the fight against terrorism financing is an on-going battle that will continue to evolve in line with the ever-changing landscape of the financial industry.

“The financial system must always be in a state of readiness to identify and effectively prevent any emerging risk of terrorism financing,” he points out.

As in the case of all new technological innovations, the fear is that the bad guys will use it, says Paul Khoo, the founder and CEO of GetCover, an insurtech firm operating within Bank Negara’s fintech sandbox.

“Regulating exchanges ensures it is a good step to nip that in the bud and facilitate the growth of blockchain technologies that require the use of their own tokens,” Khoo says in reference to Bank Negara’s recently announced move on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Not good enough?

Bank Negara’s move to regulate cryptocurrency is in step with what some countries such as Australia, China and Japan had recently done, although Japan went a step further by issuing licences for exchanges as well.

But the question remains on the effectiveness of regulations on preventing the abuse of the cryptocurrency system by rogue parties.

An experienced crytocurrency trader says while exchanges can be regulated, it is going to be difficult to monitor all forms of trading.

“There will still be some lapses in the system that allow rogue parties to take advantage of... one has to note that fintech is constantly evolving at such a fast pace that it’s difficult for regulators to catch up,” the trader explains.

Meanwhile, another trader argues that the upcoming regulation on cryptocurrency in Malaysia may not be strong enough to prevent the abuse of the technology for criminal activities.

“From what is announced so far, we think Bank Negara’s regulation may not be strict enough because there is no requirement for the cryptocurrency exchanges to apply for licenses. Such requirement can perhaps give a legitimate identity to operators and compel them to play by the rules,” he explains.

Financial innovation produces many benefits for the financial system, but it can also be a double-edged sword that opens the door to illegal activities.

Efforts by regulators seem to be moving in the right direction. But at the end of the day, it is all about striking a delicate balance between consumer protection and innovation, so that technological development will not be stifled.

 

TAGS / KEYWORDS:
Corporate News , Cryptocurrency , Digital Monies


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/11/25/digital-currencies-set-to-go-mainstream/#XRoAuZbecVrtVQmi.99

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Re: DIGITAL CURRENCY
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 09:12:19 PM »



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比特幣首次衝破9000美元
虚擬货幣比特幣距离先前突破8000美元还未满一周,今年来涨幅已超过850%。
財经 最后更新 2017年11月27日 19时33分
比特幣首次衝破9000美元

1分享
(纽约27日讯)虚擬货幣比特幣价格首次衝破9000美元,距离先前突破8000美元还未满一周,今年来涨幅已超过850%。

《彭博资讯》报导,比特幣价格昨日一度达到歷史高点9518美元。儘管被市场警告可能会是一场资產泡沫,但隨著主流关注愈来愈大,此货幣的价格仍持续攀高。

这波比特幣狂潮已吸引了大量散户投资人投入市场。据Bespoke投资集团统计,在全球最大比特幣和以太幣交易平台之一Coinbase上的账户数量,去年將近增加两倍至1300万个。

根据Coinbase的数据,截至今早9时21分,比特幣价格飆升至9675美元。亿万富豪投资人古班(Mark Cuban)表示,只要比特幣的收藏价值持续高于作为货幣的价值,其价格就会继续飆涨。

继续阅读,请往下滑


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Re: DIGITAL CURRENCY
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 02:24:48 PM »



Bitcoin soars to all time high of US$10,000, taking 2017 gains to 940%
CRYPTOCURRENCY
Wednesday, 29 Nov 2017

11:43 AM MYT
image: https://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/11/29/03/48/bitcoin.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=64045467702EF3E2B222B753C01083CE8E89A989

Created in 2009, bitcoin uses encryption and a blockchain database that enables the fast and anonymous transfer of funds outside of a traditional centralized payment system.  It has soared more than 900 percent so far this year, posting the largest gain of all asset classes, amid increased institutional demand for crypto-currencies as financial and mainstream use has expanded.
Created in 2009, bitcoin uses encryption and a blockchain database that enables the fast and anonymous transfer of funds outside of a traditional centralized payment system. It has soared more than 900 percent so far this year, posting the largest gain of all asset classes, amid increased institutional demand for crypto-currencies as financial and mainstream use has expanded.

NEW YORK: Virtual currency bitcoin soared to an all-time high above $10,000 on Tuesday on major exchanges and digital currency indexes, including the widely followed Luxembourg-based trading platform BitStamp.

Created in 2009, bitcoin uses encryption and a blockchain database that enables the fast and anonymous transfer of funds outside of a traditional centralized payment system.

It has soared more than 900 percent so far this year, posting the largest gain of all asset classes, amid increased institutional demand for crypto-currencies as financial and mainstream use has expanded.

But sceptics say it a classic speculative bubble with no relation to real financial market activity or the economy, most famously JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon who labelled it a fraud.

Bitcoin crossed $10,000 on smaller exchanges such as the CEX.IO exchange, and the crypto-currency index coinmarketcap.com long before it hit the milestone on BitStamp.

At 0245 GMT, it hit a high of $10,069.12 on BitStamp and was up 2 percent on the day.

“The price rise is a continuation of a long-term trend which has been driven by the speculative activity in Japan and also with institutional investors dipping their toes into the cryptocurrency market," said Thomas Glucksmann, head of marketing at Hong Kong exchange Gatecoin.

"The recent surge is just part of that additional element of excitement amongst speculative traders and a growing contingent of liquid traders that have a long-term optimistic view on … this technology."

Sol Lederer, blockchain director at U.S. technology company LOOMIA, said this surge will help long-time bitcoiners finally feel vindicated that their currency, which had been ridiculed for years, was at last being taken seriously.

"Bitcoin's future is still uncertain; it faces the same serious technical challenges it has for years and faces stiff competition from newer, more sophisticated blockchains. But even if it were to crash, it's apparent that bitcoin is here to stay."

In some emerging markets, bitcoin had hit well over $10,000 previously. In Zimbabwe, bitcoin traded at $17,875 on Monday. Tuesday's price in Zimbabwe was not available.

In South Korean exchanges, bitcoin was already close to $11,000 or higher.

It traded at nearly $11,000 on Tuesday on bithumb after hitting the $10,000 milestone on Monday. At Coinone, bitcoin traded at more than $11,700, and at $11,734 on Korbit.

Bitcoin has been boosted as exchanges such as the CME Group
image: https://cdn.thestar.com.my/Themes/img/chart.png

 Inc and the Chicago Board Options Exchange announced plans to launch futures contracts for the currency.

“I’m sure there will be a few dips over the next weeks and months as the cryptocurrency market is quite illiquid so there’s bound to be volatility," Gatecoin's Glucksmann said.

Mike Novogratz, a former macro hedge fund manager at Fortress Investment Group, said in a Reuters Investment Summit earlier this month that mainstream institutional investors were about six to eight months from adopting bitcoin.

But many leading bankers, including Credit Suisse Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, have expressed scepticism about bitcoin.

"From what we can identify, the only reason today to buy or sell Bitcoin is to make money, which is the very definition of speculation and the very definition of a bubble," Thiam said earlier this month. - Reuters
TAGS / KEYWORDS:
Cryptocurrency , Corporate News , Banking


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/11/29/bitcoin-tops-us$10000-taking-2017-gains-to-940-percent/#gagaiBM5reioXIxA.99

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Re: DIGITAL CURRENCY
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 09:09:41 AM »




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Bitcoin prices ‘bubble-like’ after record rally, says BlackRock
BUSINESS NEWS
Wednesday, 13 Dec 2017

HONG KONG: With bitcoin prices up 17-fold this year and sitting above the US$16,000 mark, valuations for the cryptocurrency are in “extreme” territory, according to BlackRock Inc.

“We are seeing sort of bubble-like valuations,” Belinda Boa, the money manager’s head of active investments for Asia-Pacific, told reporters in Hong Kong.

“BlackRock’s view is that this isn’t a financial asset like we would trade in terms of equities and fixed-income instruments.”

BlackRock joins other major financial services firms which have weighed in on bitcoin’s meteoric rise this year amid increasing mainstream acceptance.

Bitcoin futures contracts made their debut on Cboe Global Markets Inc’s exchange late Sunday, and CME Group Inc is set to launch similar products on Dec 18.

“I don’t know where it will end, but as much as you and I are talking, it’s going to be the biggest bubble and it will collapse,” said Prem Watsa, chief executive of Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, in an interview.

“I’m sure it will collapse, but will it happen in the next month or two or three, who knows?”

Watsa said he hadn’t invested in bitcoin and had no plans to do so.

“The higher valuations go, the more likely we are to see some volatility in that space,” BlackRock’s Boa said.

“What we’re seeing in bitcoin and some of the cryptocurrencies, we have seen huge moves in asset prices. I would therefore expect that we will see a lot more volatility in the future.” — Bloomberg


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/12/13/bitcoin-prices-bubblelike-after-record-rally-says-blackrock/#AuHgzdFOiZ08cAK4.99

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Re: DIGITAL CURRENCY
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 02:59:06 PM »



Digital currencies not legal tender in Malaysia, says BNM
Updated 3 hours ago · Published on 15 Dec 2017 11:06AM · 0 comments
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Digital currencies not legal tender in Malaysia, says BNM
Bank Negara Malaysia says digital currency users are not protected by existing banking laws in the case of any dispute or losses arising from risks. – EPA pic, December 14, 2017.

BANK Negara Malaysia yesterday warned that digital currencies are not legal tender in the country, advising the public to carefully evaluate the risks in such dealings.

The central bank said in a statement that financial institutions in Malaysia did not provide arrangements for digital currency businesses, NST Online reported,

BNM said digital currency users were not protected by existing banking laws in the case of any dispute or losses arising from risks, such as high volatility in prices, the lack of deep markets and vulnerabilities to cyber attacks.

The central bank is also making dealings in digital currencies more transparent in Malaysia by invoking reporting obligations on digital currency exchange business under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).


"This move does not mean BNM is regulating digital currencies," it said yesterday, as it issued an exposure draft on the invocation for public consultation.

The proposed policy only sets out the legal obligations, requirements and standards that digital currency exchangers, which will be defined under the First Schedule of the AMLA, must carry out as reporting institutions.

It did not mean that digital currency exchangers will receive authorisation, licensing, endorsement or validation by the bank of any entities involved in the provision of digital currency exchange services.

“This is to ensure that effective measures are in place against money laundering or terrorism financing risks associated with the use of digital currencies and to increase the transparency of digital currencies activities in Malaysia.

"Increased transparency will also prevent the use of the digital currencies for criminal or unlawful activities. A digital currency exchanger must also declare its details to the bank as a reporting institution,” BNM said.

Those who fail to declare their details or to comply may be subjected to enforcement and non-compliance actions as provided under the AMLA, as well as potential termination or denial of use of financial services in Malaysia. – December 14, 2017.

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Re: DIGITAL CURRENCY
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2017, 09:09:20 AM »



Bitcoin slumps toward US$15,000 after biggest rally in two weeks
CRYPTOCURRENCY
Wednesday, 27 Dec 2017

11:32 PM MYT
image: https://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/12/27/15/35/dcx_doc6y3kqwelzso3umjpmq0.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=249C2872BF2EE748FAC7AEE5B395989C29BC4AC3

Bitcoin fell 4.6% to US$15,214 at 10:08am in New York, having earlier climbed as much as 3.6%. - Reuters pic
Bitcoin fell 4.6% to US$15,214 at 10:08am in New York, having earlier climbed as much as 3.6%. - Reuters pic

NEW YORK: Bitcoin fell toward US$15,000 after the cryptocurrency’s biggest rally in two weeks ended a rout that wiped more than US$9,000 off the price.

The largest digital coin fell 4.6% to US$15,214 at 10:08am in New York, having earlier climbed as much as 3.6%. Among rival digital currencies, ripple extended its gains to 9.6%, while ethereum and litecoin fell 1.2% and 6.2% respectively, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The relatively quiet day for bitcoin comes on the heels of a five-day slump that reached 44% at its depths and took the coin below US$11,000 on Friday. Just four days earlier, it rose within striking distance of US$20,000 after a torrid advance that started in early December.

Investors continued to snap up shares in companies often seen as a safer alternative to investing directly in the cryptocurrency itself. Digital Power rose in early trading after saying it’s boosting its computing infrastructure to mine digital coins. On Track Innovation also advanced.

Bitcoin futures on the CME Group
image: https://cdn.thestar.com.my/Themes/img/chart.png

 exchange slipped 3.6%.

Bitcoin’s volatility is adding to an ongoing debate about how to value the digital coin which has surged about 1,600% this year.

“Nobody knows the ultimate value of this underlying asset,” Edward Stringham, president of the American Institute for Economic Research, a Massachusetts-based research group, said on Bloomberg Television. “We cannot predict whether it’s going to be zero or US$1mil or anything in between.”

For skeptics doubting whether individuals and businesses will truly start using bitcoin as a medium of exchange -- as opposed to some officially backed digital currency -- the short-lived rebound from the past week’s selloff portends further declines.

“It’s much more likely once you’ve made a big downward movement like the one we made last week that you have a bigger and more complex correction,” Ric Spooner, a Sydney-based analyst at CMC Markets, told Bloomberg Television.

“Once a market like this one locks into those patterns it becomes pretty good” to follow via chart-based analysis, he said.

Spooner said it’s possible bitcoin could drop to US$5,700 or US$8,700 in coming months. - Bloomberg

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/12/27/bitcoin-slumps-toward-usd15000-after-biggest-rally-in-two-weeks/#2vt52rhdxTKzb3j2.99