UPDATE – 25 Nov, 943am: BNM has officially denied that it is going to establish a cryptocurrency exchange. More details below.
ORIGINAL STORY – 24 Nov, 542pm:
Bank Negara Malaysia is looking to place cryptocurrency under more regulation next year. In addition to requiring people to report transactions converting cryptocurrency to cash, it is also said to be looking into appointing a official exchange for control over the digital currency.
BNM Governor, Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim, said that the new regulations are to prevent the abuse of the currency for criminal or unlawful means. As such all conversions of cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin) to real money must be reported under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 from January 2018. Allowing the central bank to monitor the flow of cash for any potential red flags.
At the same time, the Malaysian Reserve has reported that BNM is in talks with Luno, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The governing body is looking to appoint Luno as the sole official exchange in Malaysia. Providing a single point for transactions to be made.
Should this happen, there is a chance that the government will impose the Goods and Services Tax on cryptocurrency transactions. Considering Bitcoin was trading a 1BTC to RM33567.12 at the time of this story, it could quickly become a very expensive prospect for cryptocurrency investors.
[Source: The Malaysian Reserve]
UPDATE – 25 Nov, 943am:
BNM has officially released a statement to clarify that it is not looking into establishing a cryptocurrency exchange in Malaysia. It is not appointing any external organization to engage in similar activity as well.
Here is the full statement
“This is with reference to an article published by Malaysian Reserve entitled “Govt may appoint an official cryptocurrency exchange” on 24 November 2017. The article was speculative in nature and its statement implying that Bank Negara Malaysia is likely to appoint an official cryptocurrency exchange was misleading and untrue.
Bank Negara Malaysia categorically state that there are no formal plans to establish nor appoint an official cryptocurrency exchange in Malaysia.
A regulation will be issued to make any persons or entities providing the service of digital currency exchange as reporting institutions under schedule 1 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, effective 2018.
This will proactively secure Malaysia against the abuse of digital currencies for unlawful purposes amidst the growing use of this new form of currencies and its associated exposure to money laundering and terrorism financing risks.”