Digital currency regulation represents an issue that numerous governments throughout the world are dealing with, as the cryptocurrency ecosystem continues to evolve. In the case of Malaysia for instance, there are more and more talks about how and if bitcoin should be regulated, alongside with whether it should be banned entirely.
To put things better into perspective, reports suggest that the Central Bank is now taking a couple of cues from China, following a couple of statements that haven’t been positive towards digital currencies and possible regulation in the future. It is interesting to see how things changed, judging by the fact that in 2014, the BNM stated that: “The Bitcoin is not recognised as legal tender in Malaysia. The Central Bank does not regulate the operations of Bitcoin. The public is therefore advised to be cautious of the risks associated with the usage of such digital currency.”
However, following a conference about Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing that recently took place, it seems like opinions have somehow changed for the worse. While the purpose of the conference was to explore the current and newest trends in financial crime alongside with the next generation mechanisms used to detect financial crime, bitcoin was somehow put into discussion.
Therefore, after a couple of talks, a new press statement was issued, saying that ‘The ban on digital currencies is something that we will decide on by the end of the year’. However, there are also chances for a cryptocurrency acceptance to take place, in which case, this would likely mean making sure that all transactions are transparent and that data is collected from digital currency users. In the opinion of the central bank and government, this most likely means finding a clear way of addressing the risks associated with both money laundering and terrorism financing.
While the final results of the debate, and a possible law will come in three years, these statements haven’t been very bright for the digital currency community. While imposing certain regulation and making sure that exchanges are not facilitating money laundering is perfectly fine, stopping digital currency use altogether or trying to obtain data from all users may not be the best approach. At this time, digital currency enthusiasts in the country are waiting to see what the new legislative guidelines will be, and if bitcoin along other digital currencies will remain legal in the country.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about the attitude towards digital currencies expressed in Malaysia? Let us know your thoughts.