A Malaysian finance ministry official has reportedly opposed the idea of using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method following recent proposals by the Deputy Minister of Communications about cryptocurrencies.
According to a Bloomberg report, Deputy Finance Minister Mohamad Shahar Abdullah said in a parliamentary session on Thursday that Malaysia has no plans to recognize bitcoin as legal tender.
“Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are not suitable for use as a payment instrument due to various restrictions,” Muhammad Shahar said, referring to risks such as volatility and potential cyber threats.
Instead of using cryptocurrency for payments, Malaysia will continue to focus on the potential development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the official added, stating:
“Technological growth and the payment environment have prompted Bank Negara Malaysia to actively evaluate the potential of CBDCs.”
The Malaysian Ministry of Finance did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. This article will be updated pending new information.
Mohammed Shahar’s comments come shortly after Malaysian Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainal Abidin called on local regulators and lawmakers on Monday to legalize certain uses of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The official emphasized that such measures will greatly support the youth, since cryptocurrencies and NFTs have become very popular among the younger generation.
Some sources also indicated that Zahedi proposed not only legalizing some cryptocurrency transactions in Malaysia, but also using cryptocurrency as legal tender.
On the subject: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand bans cryptocurrency and tries to identify systemic failures on exchanges
Despite their reluctance to use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, it appears that Malaysian regulators have yet to restrict the trading of cryptocurrencies, following many other countries such as Indonesia. In recent years, local governments such as the Malaysian Securities and Exchange Commission have issued permits for the exchange of cryptocurrencies, while some of the world’s largest crypto exchanges have also expanded in the country.