Communications Ministry wants cryptocurrency as legal tender for “the younger generation”

Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, Deputy Minister of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, has proposed to the Malaysian government that cryptocurrency should be adopted as legal tender. He continued by saying that it would “help the younger generation who are active users of the currency”.

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Zahidi’s proposal was made in the Dewan Rakyat on 21 March 2022—which you can watch on YouTube. During the meeting, he said the ministry “will look into ways to increase the youth’s involvement in digital currencies as it is the future of finance”.

A follow-up question by Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (Ledang-PH) touched on where the government stands on NFTs—or non-fungible tokens. He remarked that they were becoming more popular, and have “both good and bad aspects”.

“I heard that people can make up to RM3.5 million because they have been able to sell pictures or songs… because of NFTs. But they also come with bad points, like scams and crypto-mining,” Syed Ibrahim added.

In response, Zahidi said that “all of these”, including cryptocurrency, are “under the purview of Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission”. He hopes that the government would help “develop youth participation in crypto and assist them”.

“This is for the future, especially for the youth… Right now we see a lot of electricity stealing and illegally,” Zahidi said.

Currently, El Salvador is the only country to accept cryptocurrency as legal tender. But according to CoinMarketCap, Malaysia is in the top 50 countries likely to be interested in having crypto as legal tender. However, cryptocurrency trading in Malaysia is legal through recognised Digital Asset Exchanges registered with the Security Commissions of Malaysia. This includes Luno, MX Global, Sinergy and Tokenize.

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