Malaysian Bank Developing crypto-friendly ‘super app’

According to a press statement issued by the firm on August 24, the largest private investment bank in Malaysia, Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad, has teamed up with technological giant Ant Group to introduce a “super app” that allows for cryptocurrency trading.

In order to jointly create Malaysia’s first cryptocurrency app, Kenanga and Ant Group, a subsidiary of Alibaba and the creator of “Alipay”, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The deal states that Ant Group’s technology division would provide the bank access to its mPaaS (mobile platform as a service), mobile development platform.

Several enterprises are expected to use the app in order to create their own applications.

The managing director of Kenanga Group, Datuk Chay Wai Leong, stated that the bank appeared to be anticipating this new endeavor:

“We look forward to not only unifying a broad spectrum of financial offerings under one roof but more importantly, to make wealth creation more accessible by democratizing,” Datuk Chay Wai Leong said. “[We aim to offer] financial services for the millions of Malaysians around the country who want better, swifter, and cheaper access to financial products and solutions.”

By including a wide variety of financial services in the new app, Kenanga, one of the biggest banks in Malaysia with over 500,000 members, hopes to “revolutionize how Malaysians approach wealth development.” The software will include services including cryptocurrency trading, digital wallet, digital investment management, foreign exchange, stock trading, and more when it launches in early 2023.

Kenanga’s Former Ventures Into Cryptocurrency

The Malaysian bank already worked with the cryptocurrency sector in the past.

In February 2021, Kenanga made an investment in Tokenize Technology, a registered operator of a crypto exchange.

Looking to improve the development of crypto-based assets in the country, local officials in Malaysia have called for the legalization of digital assets in the nation. Although crypto investment and trading have been made legal, the government has been opposed to the idea of adopting digital assets as legal tender.

Is Cryptocurrency Legal in Malaysia?

Cryptocurrencies are not seen as legal tender (a currency that is either issued by or approved by the local government authority).

Bank Negra Malaysia, which is the nation’s central bank, has confirmed Bitcoin’s non-legal money status in a statement warning citizens to be wary of the risks of the cryptocurrency.

Early in 2022, Malaysia’s finance minister stated that it was improbable that the government would soon modify its position on cryptocurrencies, the minister said that digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are not suited to be employed as a payment tool.

However, the country allows for cryptocurrency exchange, as long as exchanges register with regulated security commissions in Malaysia.

There are a couple of standards exchanges must meet in order to complete the registration procedure.

Companies must include prove the competence of their top management staff and their capacity to control the risks related to their line of work. Following successful registration, cryptocurrency exchanges in Malaysia are subject to a number of government requirements, including putting in place adequate customer due diligence methods and reporting any suspicious customer transactions to the SCM.

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