KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 26): The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) said over RM16 billion in digital assets and cryptocurrencies were traded in Malaysia between August 2020 and September 2021 amid an uptrend in prices of blockchain-based assets.
SC chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar said digital asset exchanges in Malaysia are thriving with over 300,000 new accounts created to date.
“Since the introduction in 2019, the volume of digital assets traded has surpassed a billion, with value in excess of RM16 billion as at September 2021,” Syed Zaid said during his opening speech for the SCxSC Fintech Conference 2021.
Prices of digital assets have been rallying since early 2020, with several cryptocurrencies reaching new all-time highs.
According to CoinMarketCap, total market capitalisation of the digital asset space peaked above US$2.65 trillion (about RM10.99 trillion) on Oct 21, although it had retreated slightly to US$2.62 trillion as at the time of writing, a 562% surge over one year.
The top two digital assets by market capitalisation, namely Bitcoin and Ethereum, saw triple-digit growth over the past one year, surging 381% and 964% to US$62,880 and US$4,223 respectively.
Meanwhile, others such as Binance Coin and Cardano — the third and fourth largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation — recorded four-digit gains during the same period of 1,469% and 2,060% respectively.
During his speech, Syed Zaid said financial technology (fintech) could be a key enabler in rebuilding Malaysia’s economy as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the SC would seek to drive greater adoption of digital capabilities to enhance capital formation efficiencies and increase investor participation in the market.
He highlighted that equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platforms had continued to meet and support funding needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
A total of 21 ECF and P2P platforms are currently registered with the SC, which have collectively raised more than RM2.2 billion for close to 4,000 MSMEs since their inception.
“Despite an initial decline in fundraising activities due to the movement control order in the first quarter of 2020, these alternative platforms assisted MSMEs in raising more than RM1.3 billion in 2020.
“In the first half of 2021 alone, a further RM625 million was raised through ECF and P2P, an increase of 151% and 220% respectively, compared to the same period in 2020,” said Syed Zaid.
The SC chairman also touched on growing popularity of digital investment management (DIM) platforms, with licensed DIM operators seeing a 90% jump in new account openings between July 2020 and 2021.
Online brokerage services also saw a 35% increase in new account openings during the same period.