Macau clamps down on cryptocurrencies

By Robert Simmons
The Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) has issued guidance prohibiting financial institutions operating in the region from providing financial services to any businesses involved in virtual currency, citing concerns about money laundering and terrorist financing.

In a statement citing an earlier press release the AMCM said that: “Bitcoin is a type of virtual commodity which is neither a legal tender nor a financial instrument subject to supervision. Any trading of these commodities involves considerable risks, including but not limited to those relating to money laundering and terrorism financing, against which all participants should remain vigilant.”

The regulator underlined recent events in Mainland China, where authorities announced a sweeping ban on all initial coin offerings after deeming them an “illegal” method of fundraising earlier this month.

The AMCM added: “financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions are prohibited explicitly by Mainland authorities from providing services for these tokens and virtual currencies. At the same time, this Authority also issued a notice on 20 September 2017 to remind all the banking and payment institutions in Macao not to participate in or provide, directly or indirectly, any financial services for the related activities.”

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