Malaysia's Ministry of Communications and Multimedia has called on its federal parliament for the legalization of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and the country will possibly relegate oversight on the matter to its central bank.
According to an initial report from Bloomberg, the call came from an address to the lower bicameral branch of federal Malaysian legislature (Dewan Rakyat) delivered by Zahidi Zainul Abidin, Malaysia’s deputy minister of The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (K-KOMM).
"We hope the government can allow this. We are trying to see how we can legalize this so that we can develop youth participation in crypto and assist them," Zainul said. "This is something that the youth are venturing into and we have to be able to provide a level-playing field for them," the deputy minister adds.
According to Zainul, the current regulatory status of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general for Malaysia remains largely unclear, hence the urgent need for legislative reform to accommodate changes in such a rapidly developing space.
These statements from Zainul were made in response to questions presented by Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, who represents Ledang as Member of Parliament (MP). Syed questioned the Malaysian government's perspectives on non-fungible tokens (NFTs), given the rise of NFT trades in Malaysia.
"We hope the government can and try to 'legalize' (legally) this matter so that we can expand the participation of young people in cryptocurrencies and help them in terms of energy consumption and so on," Zainul responded.
According to Zainul, the Bank Negara Malaysia, the country's central bank, and the Securities Commission of Malaysia, will share in the duties on providing regulatory frameworks and oversight on crypto. The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, however, also wants in on the duties, claiming that any regulatory matter on the subject of crypto represents the "business and financial program of the future."
Meanwhile, the Malaysian central bank is also running its own research program for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), in which it is "actively assessing the value proposition of central bank digital currency (CBDC) to Malaysia." The Malaysian central bank is yet to decide whether a CBDC would be viable for the country's growing economy, and says that their research methods only proof-of-concept experimentation, at least for the mean time, in order to enhance their technical capabilities as well as their knowledge in policy for implementation.
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