Malaysia will be enacting regulations for digital currencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the first quarter of 2019.
In a November 28 report by local news outlet The Star, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has stated on Wednesday that Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC), the country’s regulator, has informed him about a timeframe for the new rules.
The Star reports that the action is “part of the SC’s efforts to facilitate alternative fundraising avenues and new investment asset classes.”
Malaysia has assumed a slow and gradual approach to regulating its crypto industry, initially starting the procedure late last year.
For the meantime, authorities aim to control the industry. Lim has been telling the parliament that entities who plan to issue digital currencies must first consult with the Bank Negara Malaysia, the country’s central bank.
The finance minister also advises “parties wishing” to initiate a Bitcoin-style virtual currency to refer to the central bank since it will be deciding the fate of any financial mechanism.
Earlier this month, a Malaysian Parliament member has urged the government to defer the approval of a state-backed digital currency until regulations are put in place.
People’s Justice Party (PKR) of Malaysia director Fahmi Fadzil has expressed his worries about the cryptocurrency’s anonymous nature, stating:
“The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency may open us up to a number of issues and we need to wait for guidelines from [the country’s central bank] Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in regard of cryptocurrency.”