On Monday, the Malaysian Securities Commission (SC) ordered Seychelles-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global to cease activities in the country.
The regulator said Huobi was operating a digital asset exchange in Malaysia without the appropriate registration. Operating a crypto exchange without a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) license is a crime under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.
Huobi Terminates Crypto Services In Malaysia
The SC has served a public reprimand against one of the largest and most trusted crypto exchanges globally, Huobi, and its founder Leon Li. As the company’s CEO, Li has been mandated to supervise the process of winding down local activities, discontinuing any advertisements to Malaysian investors, disabling the website, and removing the mobile application from app stores.
Huobi’s Malaysian investors have been urged to withdraw all their investments from the platform and close their accounts.
The SC’s statement says the enforcement action against Huobi was driven by “concerns about the platform’s compliance with local regulatory requirements and protecting investors’ interests.”
Malaysia’s securities regulator further encouraged citizens to stop trading with cryptocurrency exchanges in the country illegally.
At the press time, the native token of Huobi Global, Huobi Token (HT), is trading hands at $2.95, up by 1.21% in the last 24 hours.
Huobi is presently the fourth-largest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume, according to CoinGecko. The exchange has fallen foul of Malaysia’s markets regulator in the past. Back in August 2022, the Securities Commission Malaysia warned Huobi of operating without a license and added it to a list of companies not permitted to operate in the country. At the time, Huobi claimed that it was in talks with Malaysian regulators about its regional operations.
The Malaysian regulator’s action marks the latest blow to the crypto industry, which has been facing regulatory pressure from various countries in the world — most notably the United States. The U.S.’s lack of clarity and regulation by enforcement has spooked many crypto companies and investors, who are already looking to relocate to other friendlier jurisdictions.