In a local news report, Finance Minister of Malaysia Lim Guan Eng confirmed today that a digital asset regulatory framework that will include cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICO) will be released and enforced during the first quarter of 2019.
Over a year ago, the Malaysia central bank began the development of a pro-blockchain and underlying asset regulatory framework to facilitate the development of the digital asset industry in the country without compromising its own financial system.
This effort was further clarified in a previous interview where Lim said, “It is not that we wish to obstruct (cryptocurrency) as we are keeping an open mind. But it is still subject to existing laws.” He added that any party wanting to include cryptocurrency would have to first refer to the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia.
According to Lim, the interest of investors is a priority and needs safeguarding, saying, “While some parties might still be skeptical of this space, there can be no doubt that we need appropriate regulations to be put in place and enforced to safeguard the interest of investors.” He further hinted that the regulation is part of the Securities Commission’s efforts towards promoting the ideas of the new funding options for businesses and the rise of the new investment digital asset classes.
Further, while keeping an open mind is the current stance of the parliament towards these digital enterprises, the government is also breaking grounds through co-investment fund in alternative financing such as equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer financing (P2P) platforms.
“We are keen on the continued development of such alternative financing avenues for these businesses beyond the traditional channels of financing,” he said.
So far, recent blockchain developments in Malaysia include its education sector considering blockchain solution in combating degree fraud. However, it seems the case of Harapan Coin, a project speculated to become a Malaysian centrally-banked cryptocurrency, has yet to garner significant support.
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