Malaysian Taxman Gives Luno the Cold Shoulder

· January 16, 2018 · 11:30 pm

Tax authorities in Malaysia have indefinitely frozen Luno’s local account used in the country, BitX Malaysia, while they investigate possible tax concerns.

London-based cryptocurrency exchange, Luno, has had its Malaysian account frozen pending an investigation by the country’s tax authority, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

In a statement sent to The Edge Markets, the exchange said:

As part of this, IRB has requested that we provide them with information on all our Malaysian customers: identification, deposits/withdrawals, and transactions. We are working closely with the IRB to limit the parameters of this broad request. As set out in our privacy policy, we value your (Luno customers’) privacy and strive to protect your personal information. We will only provide personal information where we are legally required to do so and are working with our local advisers to ensure that any disclosure is consistent with our obligations to you, our customers.

The Tax Man Cometh

The Taxman Cometh

Luno called on its Malaysian clients to respect and follow the country’s financial requirements:

Bitcoin and digital currencies are a new area of development for everyone including regulators, financial institutions, tax authorities, and many others. Navigating this requires everyone to work together to figure out optimal solutions to ensure the industry is safe and conducive to business. We are supportive of the recent measures by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to come up with reporting requirements for digital currency exchanges. In a similar manner, we are working closely with our banks and the IRB to come to a swift conclusion with regard to this investigation.

Funds are Safe and Secure

Even though the exchange does not know when the account, locally trading as BitX Malaysia, will be up and running again, they did offer reassurances to their clients:

“Unfortunately, we can’t give a time estimate for this to be resolved, but we’ll notify you (Luno customers) as soon as we have another update. In the meanwhile, you (Luno customers) can still buy, sell, send and receive digital currencies like ETH (Ethereum) and BTC (Bitcoin) with your MYR local currency balance. All your funds, local and digital currencies, remain safe with Luno and all other services remain unaffected.”

No Crypto Ban in Malaysia

Last November, Malaysia vocalized its plan to introduce a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the country.

Even though Malaysian authorities have said that they will not ban cryptocurrencies, exchanges operating in the country will have to adhere to certain criteria, which may or may not be related to Luno’s current predicament.

Do you think Malaysia will ramp up regulation efforts in the not-too-distant future? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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