According to media reports, Malaysia’s government remains undecided on whether or not to outrightly legalize crypotocurrencies.
Towards the end of 2018, the country’s Finance Minister had revealed that guidelines for digital currency exchanges and ICOs would be implemented in the first quarter of 2019 while also emphasizing government efforts towards exploring other means of fund raising and investment in new assets other than traditional methods..
However, taking cue from a recent interview with local media New Stratis Times, Malaysian Federal Territories Minister, Khalid Abdul Samad; while responding to questions regarding the legality status of cryptocurrencies in Malaysia the minister replied:
“People have asked me if these [crypto]currencies are legal or illegal. At the moment, the answer is neither legal nor illegal as the situation is still unclear.”
The minister made the comment at a commendation reception in support of fintech startup Blockchains.my school aid program for 100 orphaned kids.
Minister Samad known for his pro-activeness in cryptocurrency adoption explained that although he was actively involved in the launch of Harapan Coin (HRP) – a proposed Malaysian political cryptocurrency as well as haven discussed with Malaysia’s Prime Minister and Central Bank Negara on possible utility of the token for government transactions; he at this time cannot provide express details on any cryptocurrency projects as they fall under the jurisdiction of the finance ministry.
The minister’s response further corroborated an official statement released by the country’s Central Bank and finance regulator in which both institutions affirmed that they were setting up regulations for cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings (ICO) with no certain guidelines drafted at this time.
Wave of Interests
These indicators among other pro-crypto activities have been specified by citizens cum enthusiasts as a huge pointer to the government’s interests in the industry especially with a sizeable part (40%) of its population keen on cryptocurrencies. However, they expressed the need for faster clarity on its legality just as activities within the sphere still thrive from trading to the now reduced crypto mining activities.
Conversely, other neighbouring nations within the region including Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong all continue to regulate and adopt crypto/blockchain friendly guides as well as offering more licenses to crypto-related businesses to keep up with increasing adoption.