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Binance Ban in Malaysia: 4 Options You Can Take

The announcement of Binance ban in Malaysia by the Securities Commission Malaysia on July 30 2021 took the whole crypto community by surprise.

I mean, it shouldn’t have, considering Securities Commission Malaysia did include Binance in the Investor Alert List in July 2020, but no one thought they would actually go through with banning them.

For ‘illegally operating in Malaysia’, Securities Commission Malaysia made three enforcement actions. As per the press release, all Binance entities are ordered to:

  1. Disable the Binance website (www.binance.com) and mobile applications in Malaysia within 14 business days from 26 July 2021;
  2. Immediately cease all media and marketing activities, including circulating, publishing or sending any advertisements and/or other marketing material, whether via emails or otherwise, to Malaysian investors; and
  3. Immediately restrict Malaysian investors from accessing Binance’s Telegram group.

14 business days from 26 July 2021 means the final allowed date for Binance to adhere with all of the enforcement actions is 15 August 2021, thus Binance users in Malaysia can expect to no longer be able to access binance.com by 16 August 2021 (or even sooner).

EDIT after 16 Aug 2021: It seems that Binance.com is still accessible to Malaysians. However it seems P2P is already disabled for Malaysian users, and the Binance app is no longer in PlayStore and AppStore. But other than that can still use other features.

The reaction from Binance Ban in Malaysia

Based on what I see in social media and group discussions, most people reacted negatively to the news.

It was clear that Binance has a significant and loyal user base in Malaysia, who have been using them to get access to more cryptocurrencies than what is allowed in Malaysia, trading platform (with more pairing and better liquidity), P2P trading, derivatives and more. People use them because the range of services is WAY beyond what is offered on licensed exchanges.

I’ll miss the options on Binance 🙁

However, as pointed out in FintechNews Malaysia, Malaysian regulators aren’t the only ones cracking down or issuing warnings to Binance. Other countries, including the UK, Canada, Japan, Thailand and more are also concerned over the same issues – customer protection, KYC/AML (Know-Your-Customers and Anti Money Laundering) and more.

The good news (? depends on who you ask) is Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng has committed to proactive compliance, so hopefully you’ll see Binance as a licensed entity in Malaysia eventually, which you can’t deny will give users better protection. RinggitPlus have also reported Binance looking for Country Manager in Malaysia.

But until that happens, 16 August 2021 deadline is 16 August 2021 deadline. Binance customers STILL have to do something about their funds in Binance.

Also, even if Binance is licensed in Malaysia, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon (the process to get licensed by Securities Commission Malaysia, I am told, is lengthy), you can probably forget about some services/cryptocurrencies deemed too ‘risky’ for the general public, like futures and memecoins.

So here are 4 options you can take. I will also include which option is most suitable for which crypto user – after all, there are more to us than investors and traders. Do note that you can pick more than 1 option.

#1 – Take out all your funds from Binance, move to licensed exchanges

Suitable for: long-term investors (aka hodlers); some traders

(this is the option Securities Commission Malaysia wants you to take, probably)

As of time of writing, there are 4 licensed digital assets exchanges in Malaysia: Luno, Tokenize, Sinegy and (the newest) MX Global.

If you don’t have an account yet, simply open one, register an account and make the transfers.

Withdrawing funds from Binance

I need to mention something because I see it happening. Please do not be too clever and change the network to ‘save money on fees’.

If you’re withdrawing BTC, then use Bitcoin network (Binance automatically selected it for you anyway). If you’re withdrawing ETH, please use the pre-selected Ethereum network, don’t switch to Binance Smart Chain.

This is important. If you switch chains and withdraw, your funds will NEVER arrive. It’s lost, FOREVER.

EDIT: See comment section on retrieving funds sent on the wrong chain, *if* you control private keys of receiving wallet

Withdrawing other cryptocurrencies

What if you have other cryptocurrencies other than the 5 allowed in Malaysia: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)? How to withdraw to the licensed digital asset exchanges in Malaysia?

The answer is you can’t, so you have to (1) convert them all to any of the 5 cryptocurrencies above, or (2) Use options 2-4 below.

IMPORTANT: Options 2-4 should be taken with extreme caution. I am not responsible for any mistakes or funds lost. Please do additional research and exercise due diligence before conducting them.

How to Withdraw Money from Binance to Bank Account Malaysia

Now that P2P function is disabled for Malaysian users and can no longer sell cryptocurrencies directly on Binance platform, how to cash out?

You can withdraw money from Binance to your bank account in Malaysia by doing these steps:

  • Exchange your cryptocurrencies in Binance to Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC) or Bitcoin Cash (BCH)*
  • Transfer it to any of the 4 licensed digital asset exchanges in Malaysia
  • Sell it from the platform

*ETH is not recommended as the fees are very high

Obligatory referral codes:

  • LUNO: Buy RM500, get RM50 in BTC (instant 10% ROI) with my code ‘LNSURAYA50′ (valid for new users only).

Steps: Open a new account at Luno.com > Go to REWARDS > Choose ENTER CODE > Enter the given promo code > Click Apply Code > Deposit the minimum amount required > Buy the minimum transaction amount > Get rewarded with the additional Bitcoin.]

  • TOKENIZE: Click here to get 15 Tokenize Points when you sign up with my link. The points are exchangeable for digital assets offered in Tokenize.

#2 Take out all your funds from Binance, move to other international exchanges

Suitable for: Other traders

Binance may be banned… but other international exchanges like Kucoin and Huobi are not banned. Yet.

Personally, I have not used them, so I can’t say if they are good or not. I just know they have a reputation as fairly reputable trading platforms, so traders looking to trade other pairs aside from the 5 allowed cryptocurrencies in Malaysia can go there.

Of course, by choosing this option, you also understand the risks of using unregulated platforms, including lack of protection.

#3 – Leave your crypto in Binance

Suitable for: Technologically advanced internet users

From online discussions, it was clear that some users are not phased by the Binance ban in Malaysia. They have ways to circumvent it and still access Binance.com after 16 August 2021.

Don’t ask me how. I know the methods in theory, but not in practice. (Use VPN; Change DNS)

(This is assuming Binance doesn’t block everyone who registered with Malaysian ID, which you did during the KYC stage. If they fully cooperate with Securities Commission, they technically can stop you from using the platform, VPN and DNS be damned)

Worth mentioning here: even if you leave your crypto in Binance and can’t access it, the funds will still be in there. You can’t access it but it should be safe there, until you learn how to access it or *if* Binance gets licensed in Malaysia, whichever comes first.

#4 – Use non-custodial crypto wallets

Suitable for: DeFi users, GameFi players, blockchain developers, builders, NFT collectors, hodlers of cryptocurrencies other than the 5 allowed and more. Reminder that not everyone in the crypto world is a mere investor or a trader.

And last but not least, non-custodial wallets. This option is ONLY suitable for people who practice good digital security habits. This is similar to keeping gold in your own safe – the responsibility to safeguard it becomes 100% your own responsibility.

In case that is not clear, I’ll say it again – the responsibility to keep your funds safe is 100% yours. If your funds are stolen/ if you get scammed/ if you make mistakes, there is no way to recover the funds.

So why keep it yourself? The answer is you don’t have to, you can just stick with keeping your funds in regulated exchanges, but this option gives you the most direct ownership over your own assets, and allows you to continue interacting with blockchain platforms and networks. With non-custodial crypto wallets, you can continue gaming (and earning from it), farming, building, collecting, and everything else without limitation.

There are many types of non-custodial wallets, but in here I’ll share three main ones:

(IMPORTANT: For all of them, PLEASE store your passphrase safely and NEVER share it with anyone, not even people who claim to represent ‘support team’ (one type of scam). Use a password manager if you haven’t)

1) Hardware wallets

Get yourself a Ledger Nano (pictured below) or Trezor from authorised resellers like Cryptobilis or directly from their main Ledger and Trezor website. According to community members, shipping only takes days.

Note: It is IMPORTANT to buy your hardware wallets from the right source as tampered hardware wallet is a type of scam as well.

Hardware wallet is best for hodling and passive safekeeping, rather than active use. If you’re planning to use the wallet often, then…

2) Use Metamask wallet (browser + mobile)

Metamask is a software cryptocurrency wallet used to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to access their Ethereum wallet through a browser extension or mobile app, which can then be used to interact with decentralised applications. (Source- Wikipedia)

After you create your account, the default Metamask setting is:

  • Ethereum Mainnet (store your ETH here)
  • And a bunch of test networks (for testing purposes)
  • Localhost
  • Custom RPC (for you to add new configurations)

You can, like me, add on:

  • Smart Chain aka Binance Smart Chain. Here’s how to install Smart Chain in Metamask. This allows me to store BNB
  • Matic Mainnet. Here’s how to install Matic Mainnet in Metamask. This allows me to explore Polygon, ‘Ethereum’s Internet of Blockchains’. After all, as a Malaysian I am supportive of the National IR4 Policy, one of which is embracing blockchain technology <3

To learn more about Binance Smart Chain and Matic Mainnet and what you can do with them, please go down the DeFi rabbithole. CoinGecko’s How to DeFi: Beginner and Advanced books is a fantastic place to start and cost only $30. It’s not a bad thing to learn – the career and income opportunities in this space is MASSIVE.

3) Use Trust Wallet (mobile only)

Another wallet you may want to use is Trust Wallet,

Another wallet compatible with the Ethereum blockchain is Trust Wallet, which has some fundamental differences with MetaMask. For instance, while MetaMask is both a browser and mobile-based wallet, Trust Wallet is only available on mobile.

Additionally, Trust Wallet supports more than just Ethereum and its assets. Users can store a wider range of digital currencies, including ETH, Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).

Source – Coinmarketcap

Again, there are other types of wallets, and feel free to explore them in your own time, but the ones I shared here are considered must-know.

Which option to take

Go back to #1 and look at ‘Suitable for’ in each section. That should give you an idea of which option(s) to take.

The only other thing to add here is: please be honest with your own knowledge and capability. I have been in the crypto space since Dec 2015 and at one point, was a Certified Bitcoin Professional and still consider myself a 5 out of 10 in the whole scheme of things. I’m still experimenting and learning DeFi, and don’t what I’m doing half the time, so knowing this I only put minimal amounts. I avoid trading altogether.

Lastly, it’s good to try out different things aside from hodling, and yes no risk no reward, but take some time to learn risk minimisation and defensive strategies. Curate the thought leader(s) you’re following, make sure they’re not too binary in their arguments.

Avoid being overconfident and definitely avoid TO THE MOON bros (and sis) shilling memecoins. It’s ok to have them for fun but to be part of the cult? Nah.

What do you think of the Binance ban in Malaysia? What do you plan to do?

Personally, I belong in the camp of ‘Whyyyy Securities Commission Malaysia do that’, but I also get why they had do it: considering relatively low levels of financial literacy in Malaysia, and their role in safeguarding users, it is only fair that they take the steps to protect vulnerable folks and reduce their potential losses.

However, I am concerned about the implications. As mentioned above, not everyone in the crypto community are investors and traders. Niche crypto communities exist, and I fear they may reduce sharing their work or stop altogether – how is that good for the development of the blockchain industry in Malaysia?

In any case, I am aware that good folks are working together and aiming for the sweet compromise between protection and innovation. Here’s hoping Binance (and other crypto entities) will be welcomed with open arms in Malaysia, supplying not only jobs but opportunities.

I’ll end here, these are my thoughts. What are yours? If you’re a Binance user, what action did you take following the ban? Let us know in the comments!

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12 Comments

  1. I will be going w Option 3. I think many ppl will do the same.

    Reasons:
    1) Able to circumvent access via VPN, DNS change etc.
    2) Plausibility that Binance will restart operation (legally) in Msia in future. So just hodl till then lol.
    3) If you need to withdraw into Msian Bank acc (during period of ban), there’re methods to withdraw using decentralised banking services like Wise

    Im experiencing the same thing in UK as well now where UK highstreet banks e.g. Barclays have highlighted (they SMS me lol) to me that any money transfers related to Binance are considered suspicious.

    Considering the global userbase of Binance, I reckon Binance will proactive move to working with financial regulators in the years to come to enable (and keep reenabling) access to their users.

    So, if you’re in the crypto game for long, I’d say that this is just a bump on the long road 😊

    1. Thanks Ruiz for sharing your commentary here!

      I really hope the bump is nothing we can’t overcome, and in the end it’ll turn out good for crypto community.

  2. Hi Suraya,

    Really good article.

    I think the last date if SC gave to Binance is 12/08/2021 as its 14 working days from 26/08/2021.

  3. By the way, the fund is not lost when withdrawing from Binance using the non-preselected network like the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) network.

    The token is still there in the BSC network and you can retrieve it as long as you have the private keys of the address you want to withdraw to. Can be done in Metamask, just change the network to BSC and add the token contract address to see the tokens in the Metamask.

    Let’s say you withdraw ETH then your ETH will be Binance-pegged ETH, you can search for “how to add BSC network in Metamask” and as for the token contract address, search around this keyword “Binance-pegged ETH contract address” to add the token in Metamask.

    You can also convert your Binance-pegged ETH to ETH using bridge here: https://www.binance.org/en/bridge

    More info here:
    https://academy.binance.com/en/articles/how-to-recover-crypto-transferred-to-the-wrong-network-on-binance
    https://www.reddit.com/r/binance/comments/m6s9cg/i_made_a_mistake_i_send_binancepeg_ethereum_from/

  4. It seems that Binance removed MYR from P2P wallet, hahah!
    But hey I still can access Binance, maybe because of signup date? I use Binance since late 2015 when Kucoin still giving away alot of Bitcoin for a retweet lol, but I saw couple videos showing their Binance app got something wrong after the due date too, unlucky?

    Anyway, I end up consider #OPTION 4, withdrawing all my holding to SafePal Wallet, their app is 5 star for DeFi fans…. ( they got hardware wallet too which is cheaper and looks good ).

    The most I hate when SC Malaysia banned Binance is, I can’t stake my holding anymore, I mean yeah I can stake “manually” but it cost more fee than staking on Binance, and risk is much higher.

    A reminder if you still holding on Binance. You do not own those wallet key (wallet address that you use to deposit crypto) which means you do not own those coins/tokens. Better safe than sorry, if you want to hold it, keep those crypto at different place. Remember! Binance takde customer support!! 😀

    1. That’s a great reminder, thanks The Big Short! I understand not everyone have good digital security but in an ideal world, they absolutely have to learn

  5. I have decided to leave my investment in Binance and turn out I can access the app as usual.

    Can you write article how to buy crypto from Malaysia?

  6. I need some advise here. How to now convert / withdraw binance coin now after the ban? any way to actually convert the binance coin into etherum and transfer it to Luno? I mean now after the ban. Because my father is been holding onto some binance coin and I just got to know a week back regarding this, so finding a way to help him retrieve his holdings. Your help is much appreciated. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Raaj, you should still be able to access Binance and access the BNB

      You *can* convert it to ETH (or BTC, XRP, LTC and BCH) and transfer it to Luno too, yes. Or you could store BNB in Metamask. Same instructions as shared in the article.

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