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The Legality of Cryptocurrency: A Question for Malaysia

By Katelyn James | January 14, 2019
The Legality of Cryptocurrency: A Question for Malaysia
The Legality of Cryptocurrency: A Question for Malaysia

Malaysia government is still undecided whether cryptocurrencies are legal or not, while other neighbors in the South East Asian area such as Thailand and Hong Kong continue to organize cryptocurrencies with an eye on further adoption.

Last year, the country’s finance minister warned companies not to issue new tokens. According to Malay Mail, a local newspaper, the Malaysian Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said that cryptocurrencies are “neither legal nor illegal as the situation is still unclear”.

Samad himself seems to be on the same side with cryptocurrency being legal, which is understandable since he was involved in the invention of the Pakatan Harapan coin – a token initiated to raise political funding for Malaysia’s ruling party. Malaysia’s Centre Bank – Bank Negara – has yet to approve this new cryptocurrency.

Samad admitted that his saying does not weight enough to sway inside the government in this decision even though he supports the legality of cryptocurrency in Malaysia. He added: “Yes, I was involved in the launch of Harapan coin. However, I was not appointed as finance minister. Instead, I became federal territories minister. As the matter is not under my jurisdiction, I cannot push too much.”

Malaysia has been vague about cryptocurrency for quite some time now. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are recognized as legal tender, but they are not against the law, neither. Individuals or companies trading them are doing so at their own risk since they are not protected by law.

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