Mohd Shahar Abdullah, the Deputy Finance Minister of Malaysia, has opposed the idea of adopting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method after recent crypto-friendly proposals by the deputy communications minister.
It has been reported that Mohd Shahar said Malaysia has no plans to recognize BTC as legal tender.
“Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not suitable for use as a payment instrument due to various limitations.”
However, instead of adopting cryptocurrency for payments, Malaysia will continue to focus on the potential development of the central bank digital currency (CBDC).
“The growing technology and payment landscape have prompted Bank Negara Malaysia to actively assess the potential of CBDC.”
The report said that Mohd Shahar’s remarks came shortly after Malaysia’s deputy communications and multimedia minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin called on local regulators and lawmakers to legalize certain use cases of cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on Monday.
The official stressed that such measures would significantly support young people as crypto and NFTs have been growing "massively" popular among the younger generation.
Likewise, some sources also suggested that Zahidi proposed not just legalizing certain cryptocurrency transactions in Malaysia but rather adopting cryptocurrency as legal tender. Despite not being willing to adopt cryptocurrency as a means of payment, Malaysian regulators have apparently not restricted the trading of cryptocurrencies so far, following in the steps of many other countries like Indonesia.
Thus, in recent years, local authorities like the Securities Commission of Malaysia were issuing approvals to cryptocurrency exchanges, while some of the world’s biggest crypto trading companies were also expanding to the country.