Malaysia’s second finance minister has confirmed that the government will not enforce a ban on trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, though proper regulations will be imposed.


In brief:

The second finance minister of Malaysia has confirmed that the country will not enforce a ban on trading of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Malaysia’s second finance minister has confirmed that the government will not enforce a ban on trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, though proper regulations will be imposed.

Johari Abdul Ghani, the second Finance Minister of Malaysia, in an interview with the Malaysian Reserve, stated that the country’s central bank will not ban trading of cryptocurrencies and that such a harsh move would ‘limit innovation and creativity in the financial sector.’ He further made it clear that the government is looking to strike “a balance between public interest and integrity of the financial system.”

“It is not the intention of the authorities to ban or put a stop to any innovation that is perceived to be beneficial to the public,” said Johari.

However, he went on to clarify that due to the risk associated with cryptocurrency trading, the central bank is taking a careful approach to have proper regulation and supervision.

Regulatory authorities in many countries have become increasingly cautious to protect investors and to prevent the usage of cryptocurrencies in illegal activities. Back in October 2017, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Muhammad bin Ibrahim refused to rule out a complete ban on cryptocurrencies. For the cryptocurrency traders in Malaysia, Johari’s comments bring in some respite. In December, the central bank of Malaysia issued draft regulations in which cryptocurrency exchanges were designated as ‘reporting institutions’.

Moreover, the minister also discussed the need and importance of having a detailed understanding of virtual currencies before introducing clear regulatory policies. 

“This is particularly relevant to recent innovation like bitcoin, which remains unregulated globally and not battle-tested against shocks, unlike more conventional mediums of exchange,” he added.

He pointed out the necessity to incorporate digital currencies and e-wallets in Malaysia’s digitalization roadmap. Furthermore, according to him, the fintech innovation brought on by financial technologies like cryptocurrencies will develop the country’s economic productivity and make financial intermediation “more seamless.”

Bitcoin’s historic performance in last months of 2017 and the subsequent rising prices of altcoins have led to a rise in the popularity of the cryptocurrency industry. However, due to its unregulated nature, the crypto market has raised concerns of governments and financial regulators worldwide.


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