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Malaysia Comms Ministry Proposes Adopting Crypto as Legal Tender


Key Takeaways

  • Malaysia’s deputy minister of communications and multimedia, Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, has proposed adopting cryptocurrencies as legal tender.
  • He also said that the ministry is looking into increasing crypto adoption among younger generations.
  • In January, Malaysia’s central bank revealed that it was considering issuing a central bank cryptocurrency, which could go against the idea of using crypto as legal tender.

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Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, the deputy minister of Malaysia’s communications and multimedia ministry, said in Parliament Monday that the country should regulate cryptocurrencies as legal tender.

Malaysian Minister Says Crypto Should be Legal Tender

Malaysia could be the next country after El Salvador to make crypto legal tender.

Malaysia’s deputy communications and multimedia minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin has said that the nation should adopt cryptocurrencies as legal tender to support the younger generation, the most active users of the technology.

“We hope the government can try to legalize 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,” he reportedly said in Parliament Monday, according to local news agency Harian Metro.

While Zahidi acknowledged that financial regulation falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance, Securities Commission Malaysia, and Bank Negara Malaysia, he also revealed that the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia was exploring ways to increase the younger generation’s participation in the crypto industry.

Taking a different view to the communications and multimedia minister, Malaysia’s deputy finance minister Yamani Hafez Musa said earlier this month that cryptocurrency payments were illegal in the country. “In general, digital assets are not a good store of value and a medium of exchange. This is because digital assets are vulnerable to volatile price fluctuations due to speculative investments, the risk of theft due to cyber threats, and lack of scalability,” he said.

In January, Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, reportedly told Bloomberg that it was weighing the possibility of issuing its own central bank digital currency, which could indicate that the country has no plans to introduce Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as legal tender. 

Despite many reports of numerous countries and officials signaling intentions to make Bitcoin legal tender, so far, El Salvador is the only country in the world to have pulled the trigger.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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