Malaysia Crackdown Unlikely to Affect Binance, eToro

Malaysia’s financial watchdog has said Binance and eToro don’t comply with the country’s securities law; it’s unlikely to make much of a difference to their local operations, however.

AccessTimeIconJul 17, 2020 at 4:58 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:32 a.m. UTC

Malaysia’s financial watchdog says Binance and eToro don’t comply with the country’s securities law; it’s unlikely to make much of a difference to their local  operations, however. 

  • The Malaysian Securities Commission (SC) added exchanges Binance and eToro, which offer a series of crypto-based products, to a list of companies not permitted to operate in the country.
  • The regulator blacklists companies that offer financial services without its approval or authorization. 
  • It’s not clear when the SC added Binance and eToro to its non grata list. An official told CoinDesk that this information was not readily available.
  • Binance tested its newly launched debit card in Malaysia. The country’s currency, the ringgit, has been supported in Binance’s  peer-to-peer platform since March.
  • In May, the SC told local media that eToro was not authorized to operate in the country and was liable for a $2.4 million fine. 
  • Being blacklisted by the SC, however, is unlikely to disrupt either Binance’s or eToro’s local operations.
  • The SC does not have the authority to block websites – that rests with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which so far has said nothing on the matter. 
  • An eToro spokesperson told CoinDesk the company’s Asian operations are all regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission; Malaysian clients are effectively onboarded on an entity that falls out of the SC’s jurisdiction. 
  • Binance has resisted calls to publicly divulge where it's headquartered. 
  • Bobby Ong, COO of price aggregator CoinGecko, which is based in Malaysia, said the SC may have fired a warning shot as Binance did not get the proper licenses before it started offering a ringgit gateway for its peer-to-peer marketplace.
  • Binance is one of the most high profile exchanges, but Ong said there were many other unregulated p2p ones operating in Malaysia. 
  • Binance did not respond to numerous requests for comment. 


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.