KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 4): Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will decide by year-end if it will follow in the footsteps of other countries that have banned cryptocurrencies, according to BNM Governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim.
In September, China announced a clampdown on cryptocurrency trading as well as initial coin offerings. Last Friday, South Korea took a similar stance when its financial regulator said it will ban raising money through all forms of virtual currencies, saying trading of virtual currencies needs to be tightly controlled and monitored.
"That is something that we will be deciding by end of the year. Now it's October. In less than three months we will be able to give you more details, just wait for the guidelines," he said when asked if Malaysia would do the same and forbid the sale of digital currencies here.
Since the governor said on Sept 19 that the guidelines would be announced by year end, the industry has been looking for clues as to the central bank's stance towards cryptocurrencies, which the governor said will be revealed when the guidelines are released.
He was speaking to reporters today after launching the 9th International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing 2017.
If digital currencies are allowed, the guidelines to be issued will address, among other things, how to register the players, collect the data and how users are to approach cryptocurrencies.
"The guidelines to be issued by the end of the year will address [cryptocurrencies] in terms of registering the players, collecting the data, and [how] users are to approach cryptocurrencies. It will also make sure that whatever [the players] do, it will be transparent," he said.
Earlier, during his keynote at the conference, the central bank reiterated that the guidelines it is set to release on digital currencies will address risks associated with money laundering and terrorism financing.