Malaysia's Central Bank Is Close to Drafting New Cryptocurrency Rules

Malaysia's central bank could introduce rules around cryptocurrencies by the end of this year, according to statements by its governor.

AccessTimeIconSep 20, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:57 a.m. UTC
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Malaysia's central bank is reportedly planning to draft cryptocurrency regulations by the end of this year.

Muhammad bin Ibrahim, governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), told reporters at a symposium on September 19 that the institution wants to develop rules for those trading and exchanging cryptocurrencies. That process would also involve the reinforcing of existing regulations on money laundering and terrorism financing, he said, according to regional news source Free Malaysia Today.

Bin Ibrahim was quoted as saying:

"We hope that by year-end, [we] will be able to come out with some guidelines on cryptocurrency, particularly those related to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. We want to ensure there are clear guidelines for those who want to participate in this particular sector."

It's unclear at this time what shape those regulations will take, or whether other regulatory bodies will take part in the process. However, the move represents a shifting stance on the part of the central bank, which said in early 2014 that it "does not regulate the operations of bitcoin."

At the time, the BNM said that it does not consider bitcoin to be legal tender.

Further, the statements represent the latest regulatory development in Malaysia around the technology. Earlier this month, the Malaysian Securities Commission, which oversees financial markets in the country, warned investors against initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Malaysian bank notes image via Gwoeii/Shutterstock


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