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Malaysian Minister: The Central Bank Has Final Say on Cryptocurrency

Malaysia has taken a strong side on the issue of introducing new crypto assets into their nation by stating emphatically that only their central bank shall exercise such discretion. Lim Guan Eng, the country’s finance minister, made this statement indicating that Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia’s central bank, will have to approve any cryptocurrency scheme because only the central bank can make such possible. This is what Lim replied to a question on Monday during a session in parliament as reported by The Star:

“This is where I wish to advise all parties, no matter who they are, intending to issue bitcoins or cryptocurrency, that they must refer to Bank Negara which is the authority that will have the final say on this new form of currency.”

Lim, in his statement, didn’t say the government was against cryptocurrency, rather he is of the opinion that the laws of the country must be adhered to. To add to his point, Lim continued:

“Don’t do it without Bank Negara’s guidelines or directive on the matter to avoid doing something wrong and against the law.”

The Controversial Project Called Harapan Coin

The answer given by Lim Guan Eng, the finance minister of Malaysia is not unfounded as it has a direct link to a project named Harapan Coin. He gave his answers because of the media storm caused by the use of blockchain technology to perform fundraising for political purposes. That’s the reason for the creation of Harapan Coin, to serve a political agenda and that did not sit well with the masses. In the course of the parliamentary session, an MP stated that the Harapan project, also known as the pioneer fundraising platform to exist on earth solely for politics, despite not having an operational license from BNM, has been used to raise hundreds of American dollars.
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The Harapan Coin project was launched by the Federal Territories Minister, Khalid Samad, to support the Malaysian ruling party as they prepare for the forthcoming election next year. From recent indications, the Harapan Coin project has caused a division among politicians as some are for it while others are against it while the rest of Malaysia is in a state of controversy over the issue.

The Verdict of BNM

At the unveiling of the Harapan Coin project, the Federal Territories Minister pointed out that soon a proposal will be submitted to Malaysia’s Central Bank to acquire approval from the Apex Bank. Samad has strongly defended his position concerning the project by stating at the middle of this month that cryptocurrency is where the future is headed. In his own words, Samad was reported by Free Malaysia Today to have uttered the following at the beginning of this month:

“The founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, has also said it (blockchain) is the future in terms of technology … When we manage and use it well, there would be value to it. People would buy (the Harapan Coin), and the value would go up when it is used for government matters and other purposes.”

In airing his view on the matter, Najib Razak, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, has advised all parties involved with the Harapan Coin project to avoid deception of any kind by making their actions and motives open to the public.

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