Malaysia’s Deputy Minister for Communications, Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, today expressed his desire for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to be legalized in the country.
He did so in Parliament, in response to an explicit question from opposition MP Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh.
Bitcoin legal tender in Malaysia?
The subject of the question was specifically NFTs, and the relationship of young people with cryptocurrencies.
In fact, the deputy minister’s answer was that digital currencies should be adopted as legal currencies precisely to help the younger generation, who are very active in the crypto sector particularly on NFT trading platforms.
He also promised that the ministry will try to find solutions to increase the involvement of young people in the crypto sector, as this is the future of finance.
NFT trading platforms are becoming increasingly popular in Malaysia, especially among the younger generation.
For now, these are just words, and promises, also because the deputy minister himself pointed out that the issue also concerns the central bank and the financial markets supervisory agency. Moreover, the government’s position may not necessarily be the same.
Fintech in Malaysia
However, it seems that the Malaysian government not only has no intention of hindering the spread of these technologies, but that it wants to encourage it, perhaps to benefit the population or local crypto activities in some way.
On the other hand, fintech in Malaysia has been enjoying great success for years now, and the country is among the most avant-garde in this sector, along with Singapore, in Southeast Asia.
From what we understand, the government’s intention is not to make Bitcoin legal tender, as El Salvador has done, but to legalize its use to make it easier and more common.
In particular, if the goal is mass adoption, it will be necessary to ensure that all traditional financial platforms, especially those for payments, allow the free and widespread use of cryptocurrencies.
Now it remains to be seen whether these words will be followed by deeds, but given the remarkable development of fintech in the country in recent years, it is fair to imagine that something concrete could actually be done.
Cryptocurrencies in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is an area populated by many hundreds of millions of people, and from a financial point of view, it is dominated by the important financial centre of Singapore. It is no coincidence that the Philippines has also been considering becoming crypto-friendly for some time, although Malaysia is already much more advanced in this respect.
Finally, Malaysia is an oil exporter, and the use of cryptocurrencies could also benefit international financial transactions.