Earlier this week, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin called for the legalisation of cryptocurrency use in Malaysia. This includes legalising the use of electricity for mining, as well as using cryptocurrencies as legal tender. Though it looks like none of this will be happening anytime soon.
Mohd Shahar Mabdulah, who is Deputy Finance Minister I, says that the government has no intention of recognising cryptocurrencies as legal tender. He says that “cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not suitable for use as a payment instrument due to various limitations”. These include price swings and exposure to cyber threats. The former is also a reason why Valve stopped accepting Bitcoin as a payment option on Steam all the way back in 2017.
That being said, he also reiterated that Bank Negara Malaysia is assessing the potential of a central bank’s digital currency (CBDC). This is something that has been ongoing since September last year, with the Bank for International Settlements, Australia, Singapore and South Africa.
While cryptocurrencies are still not legal tender in the country, there are four digital currency exchanges that are operating legally in the country. El Salvadore is the only country in the world to adopt cryptocurrency as an official form of currency.