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‘Luno making progress to get users’ money back from Malaysian account’ [Updated]

Just over five months since Malaysia’s tax authority took the decision to unfreeze SA bitcoin exchange Luno‘s Malaysian bank account, the startup says it is making progress in helping customers to get their money back.

The tax authority in January froze the startup’s Malaysia bank account with Maybank, after it launched a probe into the cryptocurrency company’s activities in Malaysia. It unfroze the account in February.

“We are making progress in Malaysia, but these things take time as you can understand,” Vijay Ayyar, who leads the Luno’s global countries team told Ventureburn in an email today.

“Our immediate priority was to help customers get their money back which is what we got done through Maybank and continue to do,” he added.

He stressed that Luno has paid back all the money to customers “as was requested by them”. “Some of them haven’t requested withdrawals and we only process withdrawals once people ask for it,” he added.

Ayyar, who is based in Singapore and has been closely involved with Luno’s Malaysian-registered entity over the past two years, said the company is now also registered as a reporting institution with Malaysia’s central bank.

We are making progress in Malaysia, but these things take time as you can understand says Luno head of global countries team

This involves the startup having to submit monthly reports on transactions and volumes. This is primarily to satisfy AML requirements, added Ayyar.

The startup is also working with a number of banks and payment providers to restart deposits and have had some positive movement, he said.

“There’s some complexity involved here since there’s a new government at the helm and they are currently focused on resolving 1MDB, which is a huge priority. So crypto regulation and issues takes a bit of a back seat. But we continue to work closely with all relevant parties,” he added.

Read more: Luno still working with Malaysian bank to get account open again, resume trading
Read more: SA startup Luno’s Malaysian bank account still frozen as tax probe continues

Editor’s note (1 August 2018): Subsequent to the publication of this article Luno’s Vijay Ayyar stressed in an email to Ventureburn that the bitcoin exchange has “paid back all the money to our customers as was requested by them”.

“Some of them haven’t requested withdrawals and we only process withdrawals once people ask for it,” he added.


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