The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia of Malaysia proposes the adoption of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, as the interest for crypto grows among Malaysians. Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin on Monday suggested the Malaysian government legalize crypto to help the younger generation as they express intense interest in the cryptocurrency industry and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Malaysia’s Approach Towards Crypto Adoption

Malaysian Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin in a Malaysian parliament session on Monday urges the Malaysian government to adopt crypto as legal tender as it is the future of finance. However, he also said:

“All of these are under the purview of Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission. We hope the government will allow and legalise this so that we can increase the youth’s uptake of cryptocurrencies.”

The Deputy Minister said this in response to a question from Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, member of parliament, on the government’s stance on trading on NFT platforms, which are increasingly growing popular among the younger generation.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin says the ministry will explore ways to increase youth’s involvement in cryptocurrencies and NFTs. He thinks the adoption of crypto is an important step in the advancement of Malaysia in the burgeoning industry.

Malaysia Government’s Stance on Cryptocurrencies

Malaysia’s government has maintained its negative stance on cryptocurrencies, however, it has also allowed crypto exchanges including Luno, Huobi, and Kraken to operate legally in the country.

Moreover, in September, Malaysia expressed interest in Project Dunbar by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) to test the use of CBDCs for international settlements via a shared platform across countries including Australia, Singapore, and South Africa.

Malaysian Deputy Finance Minister Yamani Hafez Musa said recently in a parliament session that cryptocurrencies are not regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank of Malaysia, for payments. He also commented:

“Digital assets such as bitcoin and ethereum are not suitable to be used as a payment instrument … In general, digital assets are not a store of value and a good medium of exchange.”

However, Malaysia has a high crypto adoption rate, especially among the younger generation, with many people trading in crypto and NFTs. Some politicians do consider the benefits of crypto in financial innovation, but the final decision seems to be in the hands of the parliament.

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