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
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

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


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.