Crypto Issuance Through Central Banks is Optimal According to Malaysian Finance Minister


Cryptocurrency regulations around the world are determining everything from the way that platforms sell tokens to the areas that they can serve.

Recently, the Malaysian Finance Minister, Lim Guam Eng, made a ruling regarding token issuance in the area. Now, rather than simply putting out a new token, each entity must first consult with the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

The decision to run these issuances by the central bank was a response to a question posed by Dr. Tan Yee Kew, a parliament member for the People’s Justice Party (PKR). His question was in regard to the ways that cryptocurrency is being examined for risks that could impact the local currency and the overall financial system.

This question seems to have arisen because of a government-backed cryptocurrency, Harapan Coin, that is supposed to be presented to the central bank and Prime Minister soon.

The Harapan Coin is supposed to be part of the first platform for political fundraising to launch cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. At a meeting last week, another member of the Parliament had encouraged the government to establish guidelines for the industry in their country before the plans progressed any further. Framework was originally planned to be established at the beginning of this year.

When responding, Guan Eng stressed the importance of practicing caution, adding that the impact on the economy is still being reviewed. He noted that anyone that wants to issue a token will have to follow the regulations that the bank already has in place. Continuing, he said,

“I advise all parties wishing to introduce Bitcoin (style) cryptocurrency to refer first to Bank Negara Malaysia as it is the authority that will issue the decision on financial mechanism. It is not that we wish to obstruct [cryptocurrency] as we are keeping an open-mind. But it is still subject to existing laws. Do not try to do something without guidelines from Bank Negara and commit something against the law.”

As the local news media site NST reported, a November 13th annoucement from Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said that the Harapin Coin project was ready for presentation. The proposal of the crypto platform was, and still is, largely criticized.

Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet), a civil society group, even alleged that the government was “overly eager” to launch into “trendy but untested schemes.”

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