Risks of scams in Malaysia’s crypto scene

This is mainly attributable to the untraceable factor in cryptocurrencies

by ANIS HAZIM / pic by BLOOMBERG

MALAYSIA’S exponential growth in cryptocurrency is a goldmine for scammers especially for newcomer investors.

“The cryptocurrencies provide a much better venue for people to cheat. Because by definition, it is untraceable. So, it becomes a huge interest from the fraudster,” ADVANCE.AI growth markets director Ravi Madavaram told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

“It is very hard to put in a number about how much fraud (crypto) is happening because by definition, it is decentralised — it did not go through a regulatory mechanism,” he added. 

Over the last few years, up to RM16 billion in cryptocurrencies and digital assets have been traded in the country from August 2020 to September 2021.

While this has brought cheer to the local crypto scene, however, investors are exposed to an alarming number of crypto scams which raise safety concerns among the investors.

Global scams in crypto amounted to US$14 billion (RM61.46 billion) in 2021, while Malaysian victims are losing increasingly large sums in crypto scams, according to ADVANCE.AI.

Malaysia reported a total of 98,607 online fraud cases from 2017 until 2021.

Despite the risks, about 18% of Malaysian adults currently own cryptocurrencies, ahead of the global ownership average mainly due to its volatility which gives the investors optimism and pessimism.

To be protected from crypto fraud, Ravi said investors must educate themselves and be wary of their actions.

“That’s the big one — you have to be very aware of what you are doing. The second part is actually the security itself. So, wherever you are investing, you need to be careful about the security and history of these people (the anonymous creators),” he added.

Amid the security concern, ADVANCE.AI, a big data artificial intelligence company based in Asia, has provided a technology that can help users to have a smooth experience in the crypto journey.

“We provide a technology with an element to the crypto excels that enables the user to be secure (in crypto exchange),” he noted.

One of its advanced solutions is biometric authentication which can be used to digitally identify a person to grant access to systems, devices or data.

This will enhance security significantly, especially when users confront sophisticated identity theft and fraud acts such as scoping attacks.

Moreover, ADVANCE.AI will ensure individuals and businesses go through a secure phase during the whole process, namely the electronic know your customer for identities authentication, know your business for business verification and know your transaction for chainalysis monitoring.