Malaysia deputy minister of communications advocates for Bitcoin to be legal tender

  • The deputy minister in response to a supplementary question from the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ledang, backed Bitcoin to be legal tender in Malaysia. 
  • The central bank of Malaysia has, however, not disclosed any plans to adopt Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as legal tender.

During a parliamentary session in Malaysia, the deputy minister of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, Zahidi Zainul Abidin, said that the country should adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender. He was responding to a supplementary question from the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ledang, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh. 

“We hope the government can allow this,” Zahidi responded.

While the question also touched on NFTs, Zahidi responded positively to the entire crypto ecosystem. According to him, crypto assets are the future of finance. Moreover, the majority of the young Malaysian population is largely aware of crypto assets and ready to invest in them. Thereby, being able to invest in themselves and provide a livelihood.

Moreover, People within the 15–64 age group constitute 69.5 percent of the total population. Notably, this age group is associated with business innovation and acuteness.

“We hope the government will allow and legalize this so that we can increase the youth’s uptake of cryptocurrencies,” he said.

The Malaysian population is approximately 32 million, according to the latest census. The country has focused on developing infrastructure systems over the past years. Indeed, the country’s efforts have borne fruits, as the country is ranked among the top Asian countries.

The central bank of Malaysia has, however, not disclosed any plans to adopt Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as legal tender. Nevertheless, the bank has in the past noted that it is looking into CBDCs. Furthermore, more and more countries are studying CBDC introduction and rollout mechanics. 

Malaysia and the crypto market

Crypto assets have been described as the future of money. The industry has evolved to a trillion-dollar market in just one decade. To put the figure into a different perspective. Think of Apple and its journey to a trillion-dollar market. Of note, the company did not ascend until the launch of the iPhone, over a decade since the company’s launch.

On the other hand, the crypto market has skyrocketed to a trillion-dollar market in its first decade of existence. As a result, countries are getting keen on the industry before it balloons. As crypto remains largely decentralized, countries are bound to focus on exchanges for tax purposes.

Related: Australian government keen to protect crypto investors by introducing a ‘Badge of Approval’ for exchanges

Worth noting, countries are pushed to enact friendly, simple, and clear crypto policies to remain competitive. 

Malaysia’s push for crypto assets regulation and adoption remains in debate. This is similar to what is happening in other global countries around the world. Nevertheless, the country is keen to begin the talks early to ensure an earlier policy settlement.

Late last year, Malaysia joined forces with the Bank for International Settlements, Australia, Singapore, and South Africa in an arrangement that would test the use of CBDCs for international settlements. Worth noting, the partnership used a shared platform in a project dubbed Project Dunbar.

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