Any party that intends to issue cryptocurrency in Malaysia should get approval from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the Asian country’s central bank. This stance of the Malaysian Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, was reported by New Straits Times, a local English language news platform.

The Finance Minister said so when a Malaysian Parliament member, Dr Tan Yee Kew posed a question on the methods being used to ensure the protection of the local currency and the financial system as a whole from the effects of cryptocurrencies.

There is also a project that is looking into launching a Malaysian centrally banked cryptocurrency, called the Harapan Coin. The Harapan Coin is yet to be shown to the central bank or the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The coin has received mix responses, with one Parliament member suggesting that the government should implement proper cryptocurrency-related regulations before venturing into the space itself.

Dr Tan was of the opinion that cryptocurrencies should not be opposed, but these should be working under a decided frame of laws and regulations to ensure no adverse effect on the financial system of the nation”

I advise all parties wishing to introduce Bitcoin (like) cryptocurrency to refer first to Bank Negara Malaysia as it is the authority that will issue the decision on financial mechanism. It is not that we wish to obstruct [cryptocurrency] as we are keeping an open mind. But it is still subject to existing laws. Do not try to do something without guidelines from Bank Negara and commit something against the law.”

Although the government is taking the crypto revolution slowly to ensure no hasty decisions are made, it has come under fire for Harapan Coin, with many civic and political leaders criticizing the digital currency. One such group, the Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet), said that the government seems too eager to start off “trendy but untested schemes”.

 

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