Malaysia's Central Bank Is Considering a Cryptocurrency Ban


The governor of Malaysia’s central bank would not rule out a ban on cryptocurrencies when discussing upcoming regulation yesterday.

However, it appears that the institution, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), is still undecided as to which route to take regarding the technology.

Speaking to reporters at a financial crime conference in Kuala Lumpur, the governor said BNM will decide “before the end of the year” whether to ban the trading of cryptocurrencies entirely. In subsequent statements however, Ibrahim hinted that Malaysia’s final stance might not be so severe.

According to the Malaysian Insight, he said:

“The guidelines that we will be issuing before the end of the year will address issues in terms of registering the players, collecting data and ensuring that whatever they do will be transparent.”

Pushed for further information, Ibrahim called for patience. “Now is only October,” he said. “In less than three months we will give you the details.”

While it had previously stated that bitcoin would be left unregulated, BNM announced in September it would begin to create guidelines for entities working with cryptocurrencies.

Last month, the country’s financial regulator issued an investor warning for those participating in blockchain token sales, also called initial coin offerings (ICOs).

That announcement came soon after Chinese authorities issued a statement in early September ordering an immediate halt to all token sales. Under seeming regulatory pressure, leading cryptocurrency exchanges came forward in the subsequent weeks to announce they would be voluntarily closing their doors in light of the ban.

Bank Negara Malaysia image via Shutterstock

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