PETALING JAYA: Amid growing concerns over the underlying risks in digital currencies, a Singapore-based blockchain startup looks to be taking its chances with the Malaysian public, with an initial coin offering (ICO) slotted for next week.
According to a media invite sent out today, CopyCash, which claims to be the world’s largest blockchain-based social travesting platform, is set to launch its ICO at Hilton Petaling Jaya next Tuesday.
A total of 50 million CopyCashCoin (CCC) will be released in a token sale, of which 30 million made available through ICO, and the remaining 20 million via private and public pre-sale.
CCC is a standard Ethereum ERC20 token and it serves as the mechanism for payment in the CopyCash ecosystem.
Ethereum is the second biggest digital currency by market capitalisation after Bitcoin. As at 7pm yesterday, Ethereum traded at US$886 (RM3,562), and Bitcoin at US$14,800 (RM59,496). The two digital currencies have jumped 9,100% and 1,334% over the past one year respectively.
Citing larger discounts for early birds, CopyCash’s website shows that 0.1ETH will be entitled to 30 CCC under the ICO. The site also states that a private pre-sale has been completed and under a public pre-sale, 37.5 CCC will be given for every 0.1ETH.
The top management of CopyCash will be present at a press conference here next Tuesday, including its CEO Bobby Lieu, who is the co-founder of the Shenzhen Digital Assets Exchange.
In Malaysia, ICOs fall under the purview of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), which last September cautioned investors on the emergence of digital token-based fundraising activities.
Worth noting is that Koperasi Dinar Dirham Bhd, which created its own cryptocurrency Pitiscoin on the ERC20 platform, was raided by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) last November for alleged illegal deposit-taking.
The case is being investigated under the Financial Services Act 2013 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
The SC urged investors to be mindful of the potential risks involved in ICO schemes as the operators may not have a presence in Malaysia and it would be difficult to verify the authenticity of the scheme and the recovery of invested monies may be subject to foreign laws or regulations.
ICO scheme operators typically raise funds through the issuance and sale of digital tokens, in exchange for investors paying for these tokens through virtual currencies, such as bitcoin or ethereum.
The SC highlighted that these schemes can be structured in many forms, including direct investments in projects that enable token holders to participate in a share of the returns, seeking funding through foundations where investors are not entitled to any returns, and issuance of tokens which entitle the investors to enjoy rights to a future product or service.
Stressing that digital currencies are not legal tender in Malaysia, BNM deputy governor Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour said in a recent media briefing that the central bank will be working closely with the SC on the ICO issue.