Hata, a Malaysia-based venture, has secured preliminary approval from the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to establish itself as a Recognized Market Operator (RMO), both as a digital asset exchange and a digital broker. This significant approval paves the way for Hata to launch its services within the next six to nine months, marking a pivotal milestone in the cryptocurrency landscape.
Hata is poised to become the fifth regulated digital asset exchange in Malaysia, but it holds the distinction of being the first legal entity to receive approval as a digital broker. This unique status empowers Hata to display trade orders from other regulated exchanges, enhancing its role in the digital asset ecosystem. Additionally, Hata has been granted a money broker license by the Labuan Financial Services Authority in June, enabling it to facilitate the exchange of USD. This strategic move aligns with its operations in the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre, a designated special economic zone.
Hata’s journey began with the vision of David Low, who parted ways with Luno, Malaysia’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, in April. Low was instrumental in overseeing Luno’s transformation into Malaysia’s inaugural digital asset exchange in 2019. In a statement, Low shared his aspirations, saying, “Our goal is to simplify digital asset investment for institutional investors, businesses, and high-net-worth individuals in Malaysia.”
The cryptocurrency landscape in Malaysia has witnessed various exchanges attempting to establish their presence. The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) took action against Binance, ordering the cessation of its operations in July 2020 due to its lack of RMO status, although Binance continued to operate for another year. Eventually, Binance found a way back to Malaysia in March by acquiring a stake in RMO MX Global. Similarly, Huobi Global (now HTX) faced a similar fate, being instructed to cease operations in Malaysia in May for failing to register with the SC.
For Malaysians interested in cryptocurrency trading, Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad offers a viable option. This leading private bank entered into a partnership with China’s Ant Group in August 2022, resulting in the launch of a wallet and trading app, providing Malaysians with a convenient and secure platform to explore the world of digital assets.