Will Malaysia be next in welcoming cryptocurrencies?

Will Malaysia join Japan in backing cryptocurrencies, or will this be another backslide for cryptocoins?

At last month’s International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing in Kuala Lumpur, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Muhammad bin Ibrahim was asked whether there was an impending ban against cryptocurrencies, to which he replied: “In less than three months, we should be able to give you more details.”

While that was a safe and rather vague response, it was his succeeding statements that made quite the ruckus.

“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,” he told reporters at the annual event, hosted by the Asian Institute of Finance (AIF)—a promotional arm created by the country’s central bank BNM and its regulatory body, Suruhanjaya Sekuriti Securities Commission Maylasia.

Titled, “Future Proofing Compliance: Responsibility and Response-Ability,” the event was focused on keeping up with technology to ensure that the country keeps its crime defences tight. According to their website, the conference “will explore current and new trends in financial crime and the next generation of detection and technological capabilities expected of anti-financial crime professionals to meet global and regulatory expectations.”

And what better way to future-proof financial technology than with regulation? Recently, Japan made a power grab as China cracked down on cryptocurrencies with a ban on exchanges and ICO’s, by officially licensing cryptocurrency exchanges. They are now the largest bitcoin exchange market in the world.

“The FSA’s approval for bitFlyer to operate as a Registered Virtual Currency Exchange, and the agency’s openness and forward thinking regulation could not come at a better time for the Blockchain space,” says BitFlyer CEO Yuzo Kano.

But before you get too excited, this isn’t a go-signal yet. Weighing the feasibility of regulation can end either way: ban it if it’s too risky, regulate if it’s doable. “Just wait,” Muhammad said. “Now is only October. In less than three months, we will give you the details.”

So it seems there’s one more thing to add to the cryptocurrency waves coming towards the end of the year.

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