RM16b worth of digital asset traded in Malaysia as of last month

This shows the growing popularity of digital assets as the number of new accounts created increases by nearly 35% since January 

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

OVER 300,000 new accounts have been opened on digital assets trade in Malaysia worth RM16 billion in value as at September 2021, despite market uncertainties, said Securities Commission (SC) chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar (picture). 

The figure attributed to the growing popularity of digital assets, with the number of new accounts created to trade digital assets increasing by nearly 35% since January, with nearly 60% of new accounts opened by investors under the age of 35. 

“We anticipate the industry to maintain this encouraging growth performance this year, and I would like to commend our Fintech players for the continued enthusiasm and perseverance in the face of adversity,” he said during his opening speech at the SC x SC Fintech Conference. 

The conference will focus on the latest trends and ideas in the fintech field, featuring speakers from around the world, with a specific emphasis on Islamic finance. 

“We believe that cultivating Islamic finance digital capabilities is essential to propel the growth of shariah investing and attract new participants to Malaysia’s Islamic capital market,” Syed Zaid added. 

Syed Zaid also addressed the fact that Malaysian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) continue to face difficulties accessing financing markets as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. 

“We have seen how small businesses have been badly impacted by the global response to the pandemic. Last year, SMEs’ GDP contracted 7.3%, sharper than the decline in Malaysia’s GDP and non-SMEs’ GDP which shrank by 5.6% and 4.6%, respectively. This is the first time in 17 years that SMEs’ GDP has been lower than Malaysia’s GDP,” he said.

“During the pandemic, the SC noted the encouraging developments where equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platforms continued to meet and support the funding needs of MSMEs.” 

In the first half of 2021, funds raised through ECF and P2P increased by 151% and 220%, respectively, over the same period in 2020. 

He noted that the Malaysia Co-Investment Fund, or MyCIF, private investors have provided three times the funding compared to the government’s co-investments of over RM260 million. 

According to the Fintech Malaysia Report 2021, online and mobile banking penetration surged by 125% in 2020 over the previous year, as customers gained interest in crypto-currencies. 

The SC is partnering with businesses to address new technological risks and to bolster industry readiness and resilience in the face of cyber threats. 

“We anticipate the industry to maintain this encouraging growth performance this year, and I would like to commend our Fintech players for their continued enthusiasm and perseverance in the face of adversity,” he said. 

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