Malaysian Deputy Minister of Communications Zahidi Zainul certainly raised a few eyebrows when he recently proposed legalization of crypto. While nothing is official or considered yet, the proposal was issued during parliamentary proceedings. So far, Malaysia has only considered a central bank digital currency, but crypto is way too popular in the Asian country to ignore it.
According to the Global Crypto Adoption Index, the country ranks 23rd on the list. Just like other Asian countries, Bitcoin and the likes are quite popular, with millions of Malaysian residents trading it every day. Of course, they can’t use it legally within the country, but there are services and business that accept BTC.
If Malaysia follows in the footsteps of El Salvador, it will become the second country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender. El Salvador’s first six months have been dubbed a success by the country’s president, putting everyone on notice.
“We Hope the Government Allows This”
Responding to a question about the government’s take on NFTs, Zainul said that they’re looking into ways on how everything could be legalized. If accepted, the proposal is aimed at young entrepreneurs who would get the assistance they need. Malaysia’s Finance Ministry and Zainul himself would govern the entire thing along with the central bank and the Securities Commission. Of course, this is only an idea right now, so no one is sure how the Ministry would be involved in crypto.
The Central Bank has stayed mum on the proposal. Earlier in January, it announced that it was looking into digital currencies. As part of Project Dunbar, Malaysia’s central bank is one that’s testing such currencies along with many other countries. There’s no movement on that front at the moment, and that’s most likely why the Deputy Minister of Finance wants to speed up crypto legalization in the country.
On the other hand, the Finance Minister is not sold on the idea. Earlier this month, he said that he doesn’t consider crypto a good medium of exchange. Despite his deputy’s views and proposal, the minister himself believes Bitcoin to be too unstable in terms of price to be legalized anytime soon.
Bitcoin Mining Problems
Malaysia has been having a lot of problems with Bitcoin mining in the country. Earlier this year, the police said that Bitcoin miners in the country stole over $2 million worth of electricity in 2020 alone. The number was surely higher in 2021. The practice itself is illegal in Malaysia, and stealing electrical power for mining is turning into a serious problem.
Despite crypto’s obvious challenges, countries are looking in and people are beginning to raise awareness about it. Many countries are looking into crypto or digital currencies, so it’s becoming clear that we’re on the verge of a financial revolution. Greens are less valuable than cryptos, but the volatility is still a major obstacle to get over.
Still, as more and more countries follow El Salvador’s example, the crypto story will continue.