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Malaysia Securities Watchdog Hands Down Cease-and-Desist to ICO




The securities watchdog of Malaysia has given a startup a cease-and-desist order before its planned initial coin offering (ICO).

According to a statement released by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), the CopyCash Foundation was given the notice after an investigation into its pitch to investors.

On its website, CopyCash considers itself as a platform for “social travesting”, or a combination of investing and trading.

The SC’s statement read:

“The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has directed CopyCash Foundation to immediately cease and desist all its proposed activities including a purported plan to launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on 10 January 2018 in Malaysia.

“This directive covers all activities as described in or incidental to CopyCash Foundation’s white paper pursuant to the ICO, including any roadshows, seminars or promotional events related to the scheme.

“The directive was issued by the SC following its inquiry after it found that there is a reasonable likelihood that disclosures in CopyCash Foundation’s white paper and representations to potential investors will contravene relevant requirements under securities laws.”

That the regulator would act immediately to give out the cease-and-desist notice is perhaps unsurprising, given the similar actions by agencies in other parts of the world to quash ICOs ahead of their launch.

Last month, The SEC announced that Munchee Inc. gave out refunds to investors after officials made contact and drew issue with its token sale, which the agency said constituted the offer and sale of unregistered securities.

SC said in its January 5 statement that it saw an uptick of ICO marketing within Malaysia, including solicitations of elderly citizens.

The SC added that it would partner with other bodies, including Malaysia’s central bank, to tackle the ICO issue.

“The SC continues to work with Bank Negara Malaysia and other enforcement agencies, including our foreign counterparts, to closely monitor such activities and will take appropriate action where necessary,” the agency said.

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