Malaysia’s Central Bank Seriously Considering Banning Cryptocurrency. The governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank in Malaysia, has thought about many changes to current regulations within the country. The governor said that the bank will consider potentially banning cryptocurrencies before the end of the year. This would put Malaysia in the same company as a few other parts of Asia that have frowned upon these currencies.
This comes as many cryptocurrencies, particularly the bitcoin, have become available for trading around the world. Although such currencies are growing in popularity, there are worries about how well they can be utilized and what people could do with them. With the threats of these currencies growing, it has become highly vital for countries to look into what can be done with such currencies.
The Malaysian central bank is currently analyzing options for how to handle the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. There is a potential that the bank could do like China and South Korea and issue a ban on such currencies. Malaysia’s action could potentially harm the growth of these currencies in growing markets around Asia.
The bank does acknowledge that such currencies have been viable and are growing in popularity. There are still concerns from the central bank over how cryptocurrencies might be utilized for funding questionable activities. These include money laundering actions and possibly supporting terrorist activities.
The central bank stated in 2014 that the bitcoin was not interpreted as legal tender in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s move comes amid the central bank issuing a large number of fines on banking groups that have broken various rules within the country. These include fines for people who go against regulations and ethics standards. Around RM115.8 million in fines were given out from 2015 to June 2017.
There is a potential for cryptocurrencies to be protected in Malaysia but additional functions would be required for keeping them protected and safe. Added computer systems would be required to make such currencies protected and secure. Also, added user identity checks might be required. This is all to make it easier for certain currencies to become visible and more useful to the public.
The central bank is also willing to issue heavy fines to those who engage in illegal activities relating to certain currencies. The potential for such currencies to be subjected to heavier penalties would be strong if Malaysia ends up allowing these currencies to be traded within the country.
The move comes amid other issues around Asia in recent time that has kept the cryptocurrency from growing. Bitcoin exchanges in China stopped trading in September 2017. Initial coin offerings or ICOs were also banned in the country. South Korea also banned margin trading in cryptocurrencies and ICOs in September 2017.
There are also concerns that cryptocurrencies do not have legal support in many Asian countries. This is very different from what people may find through traditional currencies.
There is no set date as to when the central bank would make a decision on how cryptocurrencies are to be used in Malaysia. The bank will still make its overall decision before the year ends.