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Monetary regulator bars lenders from ICO market

The Macau Monetary Authority (AMCM) urged local banks and other payment institutions Wednesday to refrain from providing services of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:49 am

The Macau Monetary Authority (AMCM) urged local banks and other payment institutions Wednesday to refrain from providing services of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.

According to an AMCM statement, it “issued a notice last week “to remind all the banking and payment institutions in Macau not to participate in or provide, directly or indirectly, any financial services for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies”.

The statement also pointed out that “due to recent happenings of financing activities through issuance of tokens in the mainland, financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions have been prohibited explicitly by the mainland authorities from providing services for these tokens and virtual currencies”.

The statement recalled that the AMCM issued a notice in 2014 “to call the attention of the financial industry and the public that Bitcoin is a type of 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 statement came after Hong Kong media reports claimed earlier this week that a Thai-Macau joint venture was planning to bring blockchain technology to Macau.

According to the Hong Kong media reports on Tuesday, the Macau Dragon Group and Thailand-based Wi Holding Company Limited have reached a deal for an ICO planned for Hong Kong next month with the aim of raising US$500 million to bring blockchain technology to Macau.

In response to the news, Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) Director Paulo Martins Chan told reporters on Tuesday that the government has never allowed any kind of online gaming activities in Macau.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:49 am

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