Malaysia’s Government Is Reportedly Still Deciding Whether Cryptocurrencies Should Be Legal

Francisco Memoria

The government of Malaysia is reportedly still deciding whether or not cryptocurrencies should be legalized in the country, as according to its Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad the “matter was still under consideration” as of January 12.

Speaking to local news outlet New Straits Times, the policymaker revealed that while he was involved in the launch of the Harapan Coin (HRP) – a propose political cryptocurrency – he wasn’t appointed the country’s finance minister, and as such can’t push the matter.

He was quoted as saying:

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.

Notably, the Malaysian government claimed in December of last year that it was working on regulations for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The Harapan Coin, according to the news outlet, has been pitched to the Bank Negara Malaysia, the country’s central bank, and to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for government transactions.

Shortly after, a Malaysian Member of Parliament reportedly asked the government to set up proper cryptocurrency regulations before considering the HRP project.

Samad’s words came as he was commenting on the success of a school aid presentation for 100 orphans organized by Blockchains.My, a fintech venture. The cryptocurrency scene has been growing in Malaysia, and the country’s authorities have been keeping an eye on the market, as those looking to lunch cryptos must go through the central bank first.

In July of last year, over 12 Indian businessmen reportedly lost thousands of dollars to a Malaysian cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme.