Securities Commission: Digital asset market’s trading value rises to RM21b in 2021

Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, Litecoin are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration taken June 29, 2021. — Reuters pic
Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, Litecoin are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration taken June 29, 2021. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — The domestic digital asset market continued to grow in 2021 despite market uncertainties following the pandemic, with about RM21 billion in digital assets traded across the four registered digital asset exchanges (DAXs).

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) said investor interest boosted the total number of investment accounts by nearly 300 per cent to about 760,000 last year compared to more than 190,000 in 2020.

“Investors aged below 35 years comprised the largest segment at 62 per cent, holding more than 470,000 accounts as at end 2021,” it said in its Annual Report 2021 released today.

The SC said it continued to facilitate the introduction of new digital assets to be traded on DAXs, with the approval of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in March 2021 as an additional permissible digital asset.

Other digital assets permitted to be traded on DAXs include Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and LiteCoin.

According to the report, the digital investment management (DIM) segment expanded further its capital market offerings with total assets under management (AUM) of more than RM1 billion as at end-2021.

“The increased retail interest in the equity market during the pandemic had also pushed digital brokers to new highs, gaining a retail market share of 5.45 per cent with total number of accounts having risen by more than 50 per cent to approximately 251,000 in 2021 (2020: more than 165,000),” the regulator said.

The DIM segment managed to attract and serve the younger demography of investors, with more than 70 per cent of participating individual investors in DIM comprising those aged below 35 years and attracting the participation of first-time investors, the SC said.

“The emergence of spare change investing, where spare changes from investors’ purchases are rounded-up and invested into funds, has also allowed investors to begin investing with small investment amounts with ease,” it added.

Another DIM company was licensed in 2021, bringing the number of DIM companies currently in operation to eight. — Bernama