Macau’s financial regulatory, the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM), has issued a statement prohibiting the territory’s financial institutions from providing financial services to businesses issuing virtual currencies or tokens. The statements follow a crackdown on money laundering and capital outflows from mainland China by Chinese regulators.
The AMCM Informed Local Financial Institutions That They Must Not “Participate in or Provide… Financial Services Related to [Virtual Currencies]”
Macau’s ban on financial institutions providing services to companies operating with bitcoin has been sparked by China’s recent cryptocurrency crackdown. The Monetary Authority of Macau states that “due to recent happenings of financing activities through issuance of tokens in the Mainland, financial institutions and on-bank payment institutions are prohibited explicitly by Mainland authorities from providing services for these tokens and virtual currencies.”
Macau, officially known as the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is an autonomous territory administered under Chinese sovereignty. Gambling is legal in Macau, unlike mainland China, making the territory a regional hub for casinos and gaming. Macau has recently been the subject of a crackdown on money laundering by Beijing, with Chinese regulators moving to closely monitor capital outflows to the autonomous territory – including the introduction of ATMs that scan for facial recognition and identity card checks during cash withdrawals throughout Macau.
According to Reuters China, the AMCM stated that “in view of the recent emergence of a large number of inward currency issuance financing activities, speculation in speculation, the mainland ministries have banned financial institutions and non-bank payment agencies to provide financing for the currency and virtual currency.” Macau’s financial regulator also stated that it had sent a “letter to all banks and payment institutions in Macao, should not directly or indirectly participate in or provide any financial services related to [virtual currencies].”
The Macau Dragon Corp. Is Conducting an ICO to Finance the Development of a Casino
Macau’s ban on financial institutions providing services to virtual currency companies comes during the same week that Macau-based gaming company, Dragon Corp., launched an initial coin offering to raise $500 million USD for the construction of a casino in partnership with Thai-based Wi Holding. The CEO of Wi Holding, Chakrit Ahmad, told CNBC that the crowdsale will comprise “the first time anybody has allowed the public to invest in a public junket or become a shareholder of a casino.” Despite Dragon Corp’s proposed casino set to be constructed in Macau, the ICO will not be subject to Macau’s crackdown due to the crowdsale being issued in Hong Kong.
Dragon Corp’s crowdsale has generated controversy in China, as the 61-year old former-boss of notorious criminal organization Triad Society, Wan Kuok-Koi, was photographed at the signing ceremony for the partnership between Dragon Corp. and Wi Holding.
Do you think that Dragon Corp.’s ICO will successfully evade Chinese and Macau regulators? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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