Guan Eng puts the brakes on cryptocurrencies pending Bank Negara decision

KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has put the brakes on those seeking to create cryptocurrencies, pending the final word from Bank Negara Malaysia.

“We need to be cautious as Bank Negara is the authority that handles and manages all forms of new currency technology.

“I am certain that there are those trying to introduce their own mechanism.

“This is where I wish to advise all parties, no matter who they are, intending to issue bitcoins or cryptocurrency, that they must refer to Bank Negara which is the authority that will have the final say on this new form of currency,” Lim said when answering a question by Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew (PH-Wangsa Maju) in Parliament on Monday (Nov 26).

Lim said it was necessary for the central bank to carry out an indepth study on the matter.

“Don’t do it without Bank Negara’s guidelines or directive on the matter to avoid doing something wrong and against the law,” he said.

He added that the government was still open to new forms of currency but this must be done in accordance with existing laws.

Dr Tan wanted to know what measure were being taken to address the issue of cryptocurrency as it could result in problems for the local currency.

Later, during debates at the committee stage on Budget 2019, Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) asked about the status of the “Harapan Coin” cryptocurrency, saying there were reports that it has been sold through

“Although it is a new initiative and has yet to get approval, it was reported that the coin is being traded at US$45 for 100 units and has since collected US$772,” he said.

The proposed Harapan Coin was raised by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad earlier this month, who said it would be the world’s first political fundraising platform using blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.

Khalid had said that the paperwork and presentation on the Harapan Coin has been prepared and will soon be presented to Bank Negara and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

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