KUALA LUMPUR: The Securities Commission Malaysia has directed Singapore-registered blockchain startup to cease and desist all its proposed activities including a planned initial coin offering (ICO), prompting an apology from the company.
CopyCash CEO Bobby Lieu, who is Malaysian, had planned to launch the ICO of CopyCashCoins worth about RM50 million (S$16.6 million) at a hotel in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday (Jan 10). RM30 million was reportedly offered to the public, with the remainder through private placements.
The securities watchdog had earlier raised concerns over the risk of ICO fraud and urged the public to exercise due diligence before participating in such schemes.
It held an inquiry with CopyCash management on Monday and found it likely that the startup's investment structure would contravene the requirements of the country's securities laws, as the funds raised could be used to invest in stocks and securities.
After Lieu received the notice on Tuesday, CopyCash apologised to its investors via a group chat message, which was seen by Channel NewsAsia.
"As much as we want to continue with our function tomorrow, we have been advised by our lawyers not to go ahead," the message read. "We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this decision."
The startup assured investors that it would soon announce the exchanges it would be listed. It added that all CopyCashCoin token holders would be issued additional CopyCashCoins given that the price of Ethereum had increased significantly over the past few months.
The company also pledged to continue exploring new markets to launch its cryptocurrency, sharing in the group chat that it regarded the commission's intervention as good publicity.
Channel NewsAsia has reached out to CopyCash for comment.