Malaysia: government drags its feet on crypto legalisation

These include Chain, Circle Internet Financial., Digital Asset Holdings, Eric Industries, IBM, Linux Foundation, Post-Trade Distributed Ledger., R3CEV …

The Malaysian government remains undecided over legalising the use of cryptocurrencies in the country, New Straits Times reports.

“People have asked me if these currencies are legal or illegal. At the moment, the answer is neither legal nor illegal as the situation is still unclear,” says Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad.

“Yes, I was involved in the launch of Harapan Coin. However, I was not appointed as Finance Minister. Instead, I became Federal Territories Minister. As the matter is not under my jurisdiction, I cannot push too much.”

Big blockchain buzz

The blockchain space will grow at a significant CAGR through to 2024, and Malaysia has bags of potential, according to a report by Million Insights.

Asia-Pacific is becoming a significant player, the research notes. Countries such as Malaysia, China and Singapore are heading up the market with increasing adoption of digital currencies and significant investment by big hitters eyeing various opportunities in the region. These include Chain, Circle Internet Financial., Digital Asset Holdings, Eric Industries, IBM, Linux Foundation, Post-Trade Distributed Ledger., R3CEV and Safello.

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Indecision Mars Crypto Efforts In Malaysia, As Government Remain Undecided Over Legalization

… and central bank issued a joint statement, confirming they were setting up regulation on cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) assets.

The Malaysian government is still undecided whether to legalize cryptocurrencies in the country.

According to a report by English-language local media New Straits Times on Jan. 12, the Malaysian Federal Territories Minister, Khalid Abdul Samad, while fielding questions on whether digital currencies are currently legal or illegal, replied saying: “At the moment, the answer is neither legal nor illegal as the situation is still unclear.”

Mr. Samad noted that while he was involved in the launch of Harapan Coin (HRP) — a proposed political cryptocurrency — he isn’t the finance minister and therefore the matter does not fall under his jurisdiction.

It would be recalled that in December 2018, Malaysia’s finance regulator and central bank issued a joint statement, confirming they were setting up regulation on cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) assets.

Samad was also reported to have previously proposed to Bank Negara Malaysia and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to use the digital currency, Harapan Coin, for government transactions.

However, according to a report by Cointelegraph in November, 2018, a Malaysian Member of Parliament had urged the government to implement proper cryptocurrency regulations before undertaking the Harapan Coin cryptocurrency project. Cointelegraph further explained in December, 2018 through a dedicated analysis that as much as 30 percent of the funds raised for the project were destined for the system’s administrators — who remain effectively anonymous.

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Malaysian Government Reportedly Still Undecided on Whether to Legalize Crypto

… central bank issued a joint statement in which they confirmed they were setting up regulation on cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) assets.

The Malaysiangovernment is reportedly still undecided whether to legalize cryptocurrencies, English-language local media New Straits Times reports on Jan. 12.

When answering a query about whether digital currencies are currently legal or illegal, Khalid Abdul Samad, the Malaysian federal territories minister, reportedly said:

“At the moment, the answer is neither legal nor illegal as the situation is still unclear.”

Samad also pointed out that while he was involved in the launch of Harapan Coin (HRP) — a proposed political cryptocurrency — he wasn’t appointed as finance minister, noting that the the matter therefore does not fall under his jurisdiction.

In December 2018, as Cointelegraph reported, Malaysia’s finance regulator and central bank issued a joint statement in which they confirmed they were setting up regulation on cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) assets.

Samad has also reportedly previously proposed to Bank Negara Malaysia and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to use the digital currency, Harapan Coin, for government transactions.

However, as Cointelegraph reported in November last year, a Malaysian Member of Parliament had urged the government to implement proper cryptocurrency regulations before undertaking the Harapan Coin cryptocurrency project.

Cointelegraph explained in a dedicated analysis in December 2018 that as much as 30 percent of the funds raised for the project were destined for the system’s administrators — who remain effectively anonymous.

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FT minister defends Harapan Coin, cites Jack Ma

Like most initial coin offering (ICO) websites, it offers a ‘white paper’ to state its objectives, which in this case was to raise funds for Pakatan Harapan …

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad has defended his push to make political cryptocurrency project Harapan Coin a reality.

“The founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, has also said it (the coin) is the future in terms of technology.

“When we manage and use it well, there would be value to it. People would buy (the coin) and the value would go up when it is used for government matters and other purposes,” Khalid was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today last night.

The Harapan Coin website was registered in December last year. Like most initial coin offering (ICO) websites, it offers a ‘white paper’ to state its objectives, which in this case was to raise funds for Pakatan Harapan ahead of the 14th general election.

In a video on the site, Khalid – then just the Shah Alam MP – said that 30 percent of the proceeds from the project will be handed to the developer, followed by 30 percent to his party Amanah and the remaining 40 percent to the Harapan coalition.

The cryptocurrency re-emerged in the spotlight after Khalid said he would be sending a proposal on it to Bank Negara Malaysia soon.

Harapan Coin has been panned by both sides of the political divide, as well as by experts.

Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak has demanded to know who would benefit from the project.

Meanwhile, Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar had tweeted that it was a “bad idea”.

It is a bad idea. https://t.co/2oi5YwcESi

— Nurul Izzah (@n_izzah) November 13, 2018

A cryptocurrency trader has also questioned why no value was assigned to Harapan Coin’s ICO.

There are many reports by established news organisations on how the majority of ICOs fail within the first few months – reaping huge profits for a few and losses for most.

Since 2017, China has banned all forms of ICO.

ICO is an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture.

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Harapan Coin: Khalid Samad to propose cryptocurrency project to Pakatan (VIDEO)

The first day of 2018 saw the pre-sale launch while the Initial Coin Offering was held from April 4 to April 19 this year. Unlike Khalid, the five team …
Khalid’s involvement in Harapan Coin has raised eyebrows among some in the public, even PH supporters, due to the unregulated and volatile nature of cryptocurrencies.Khalid’s involvement in Harapan Coin has raised eyebrows among some in the public, even PH supporters, due to the unregulated and volatile nature of cryptocurrencies.
Khalid’s involvement in Harapan Coin has raised eyebrows among some in the public, even PH supporters, due to the unregulated and volatile nature of cryptocurrencies.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — The fate of Harapan Coin, which claims to be the world’s first political fundraising platform utilising cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, may now be decided by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council.

Its co-founder Khalid Abdul Samad told Malay Mail that Harapan Coin was originally a personal project meant to raise funds for the then Opposition bloc to be used during the 14th general election.

“Since the election is over, there’s been no discussion regarding the status of Harapan Coin [and whether we will continue it or not]. At that time, it was a method to raise funds from cryptocurrency users.

“Now I think I need to bring the matter up to the PH Presidential Council’s next meeting because it was originally my personal project to find novel ways of obtaining donations for the coalition and for Parti Amanah Negara,” said the Shah Alam MP.

However, Khalid’s involvement in endorsing his own cryptocurrency has raised eyebrows among some in the public, even PH supporters, due to the unregulated and volatile nature of the industry.

On its website, Harapan Coin told its supporters that the currency — denoted as HRP — has the “potential to become an official currency if Harapan wins election”.

It sells a minimum of 100 HRP at the rate of US$45, or roughly RM182, making 1 HRP worth RM1.82 at the time of writing.

Khalid, who is the communications director of Amanah, has since been sworn in as the Federal Territories minister and is part of the Cabinet.

Khalid explained that Harapan Coin only provided a platform for cryptocurrency users to donate to the cause using cryptocurrency that they already own.Khalid explained that Harapan Coin only provided a platform for cryptocurrency users to donate to the cause using cryptocurrency that they already own.
Khalid explained that Harapan Coin only provided a platform for cryptocurrency users to donate to the cause using cryptocurrency that they already own.

Asked whether the coin was legal due to restrictions placed on cryptocurrency trading by Bank Negara Malaysia, Khalid denied that any trading or speculation was involved.

In February, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) finalised its guidelines which outlined the reporting obligations for cryptocurrency exchanges. At least nine exchanges have registered.

Then BNM governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim stressed that the central bank still does not authorise nor endorse cryptocurrency-related activities. Cryptocurrencies are still not recognised as legal tender, he said.

However, Khalid explained that Harapan Coin only provided a platform for cryptocurrency users to donate to the cause using cryptocurrency that they already own.

The fund has collected over US$2,000 at the time of publication. It had targeted US$257,750,000 for election purposes.

Khalid said he used the monies to pay for the website’s[a] system administrator, and salary for a PH secretariat staff.

Harapan Coin was started in January 2017 by its team leader Aziz M. based in the US, along with Australia-based Yi Ling who handles its marketing and public relations, UK-based blockchain developer K. Pathmanathan, France-based web developer Anthony R., and Singapore-based graphic designer Awang Y.

In October that year, Aziz and his team met with Khalid and managed to convince the latter to hop on board.

The first day of 2018 saw the pre-sale launch while the Initial Coin Offering was held from April 4 to April 19 this year.

Unlike Khalid, the five team members had refused to identify themselves, fearing reprisals from then ruling Barisan Nasional.

However, they divulged that they are supporters of the PKR-linked data analysts Invoke Malaysia, the Anwar Ibrahim Club, election watchdog Bersih 2.0, and Rafizi Ramli’s Fan Club Australia.

In a Youtube video on the website, Khalid explained that any donation collected will be split into three: 30 per cent to the system administrator, 30 per cent to Khalid’s Parti Amanah Negara, and the remaining 40 per cent will be handed to the PH coalition.

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