BNM: RM75m cryptocurrencies transactions each month

Deputy Governor Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour: "If you look at the price, it is clear that it is a bubble... Anything with high return has high risk.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia said there are an average of RM75mil in transactions of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies each month in Malaysia, on four digital currency exchanges.

Deputy Governor Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour had on Friday pointed out that there are four active digital currency offering services in Malaysia, namely, Luno, Coinhako, XBit Asia and PinkExchange.

He said the central bank would be meeting with the four cryptocurrency exchange operators next week.

Abdul Rasheed stressed that digital currencies are not legal tender in Malaysia, and said that the central bank is not stopping the trading of bitcoin.

"We need to strike a balance between public interest and integrity of the financial system. A ban would just curb innovation and creativity," he said at a media briefing on Friday.

Bank Negara has issued an exposure draft on the invocation of reporting obligations on digital currency exchange as reporting institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA), for public consultation.

This was to ensure effective measures were in place against money laundering or terrorism financing risks associated with the use of digital currencies, as well as to increase the transparency of digital currency activities in the country.

When asked on the bitcoin price movement, Abdul Rasheed agreed that it is a bubble.

"If you look at the price, it is clear that it is a bubble... Anything with high return has high risk,” he said.

The price of bitcoins surged this year, rising more than 1,000% to above US$16,000 a unit this week.
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