BNM, SC say drawing up rules on digital assets

BNM, SC say drawing up rules on digital assets

KUALA LUMPUR,. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Securities Commission (SC) are working to introduce regulations for the trade and investment of digital assets, after minister Khalid Samad mooted the idea of a Pakatan Harapan Coin as currency for political funds.

Digital assets refer to digital currencies and digital tokens, such as bitcoin, which is a form of direct transaction involving electronic currency.

“Regulations are currently being put in place to bring digital assets within the remit of securities laws to promote fair and orderly trading and ensure investor protection,” the two financial watchdogs said in a joint statement.

They said the SC will regulate issuances of digital assets through initial coin offerings (ICO) and the trading of digital assets at specialised digital asset exchanges in the country.

The issuers and exchanges will then have to comply with all laws and regulations related to payment and currency matters, they added.

They stressed that digital assets are still not legal tender here.

The BNM and SC announcement of a regulatory framework suggests steps are being taken to open up the market to use of cryptocurrency and other digital assets, which are currently unregulated.

Khalid, who is Federal Territories minister, mooted the idea of a Harapan Coin as a currency for political funds, as the new administration seeks to separate government monies for public uses from financing their political activities.

If the Harapan Coin goes ahead, it would be the world’s first political fundraising platform utilising cryptocurrency and blockchain technology,

However, critics, which include Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad Al- Bakri, have expressed concern over the use of the Harapan Coin as there is no regulatory body to govern its trade and other transactions.