Cryptocurrency exchanger Luno's account frozen by Malaysian tax authorities

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KUALA LUMPUR: Luno, a globally-recognised cryptocurrency exchanger based in London, said today that its bank account in Malaysia has been frozen by the Inland Revenue Board, pending an investigaton relating to tax matters.

As such, it has not been able to process deposits or withdrawals in the country over the past few weeks. The account is held under the name of its local entity, BitX Malaysia.

"As part of this, IRB has requested that we provide them with information on all our Malaysian customers: identification, deposits/withdrawals, and transactions.

"We are working closely with the IRB to limit the parameters of this broad request. As set out in our privacy policy, we value your (Luno customers') privacy and strive to protect your personal information. We will only provide personal information where we are legally required to do so and are working with our local advisers to ensure that any disclosure is consistent with our obligations to you, our customers," Luno said in a statement emailed to theedgemarkets.com.

It said in general, it strongly encourages all its customers to adhere to Malaysian tax requirements, including, where necessary, the declaration of any gains in the manner prescribed by the authorities.

"Bitcoin and digital currencies are a new area of development for everyone including regulators, financial institutions, tax authorities, and many others.

"Navigating this requires everyone to work together to figure out optimal solutions to ensure the industry is safe and conducive to business. We are supportive of the recent measures by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to come up with reporting requirements for digital currency exchanges. In a similar manner, we are working closely with our banks and the IRB to come to a swift conclusion with regard to this investigation," Luno added.

It went on to say that while it is focused on making sure it achieves a positive outcome for everyone, especially its customers, the issue may take some time to be resolved.

"Unfortunately, we can't give a time estimate for this to be resolved, but we'll notify you (Luno customers) as soon as we have another update.

"In the meanwhile, you (Luno customers) can still buy, sell, send and receive digital currencies like ETH (ethereum) and BTC (bitcoin) with your MYR local currency balance. All your funds — local and digital currencies — remain safe with Luno and all other services remain unaffected," it added.