16th December 2021 - 2 min read
Deputy Finance Minister II, Yamani Hafez Musa said that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is not looking to issue any central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the near future.
According to the deputy minister, Malaysia’s payment systems – including the real-time retail payments platform (RPP) – are secure and efficient enough to support economic needs and enable digital payments. “The financial system in Malaysia continues to support the functioning of the economy while meeting the needs of individuals and businesses,” he said.
Yamani Hafez did stress, however, that the central bank will continue to actively assess the potential of CBDC and how it may assist the government in achieving public policy objectives in the future. He acknowledged that the rapidly changing payment and cryptocurrency landscape has prompted many central banks around the world to consider issuing CBDC.
Aside from that, Yamani Hafez also commented on the government’s stance on the use of cryptocurrencies in day-to-day transactions, stating that companies are free to issue digital assets for fundraising, but they must abide by regulations set by the Securities Commission (SC). Specifically, they need to abide by the conditions provided under the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019.
Meanwhile, Yamani Hafez emphasised that cryptocurrencies are not recognised as legal tender currencies in Malaysia, and therefore are not a payment instrument regulated by BNM. “Cryptocurrencies are not suitable to be used as a payment instrument as the currencies do not show the universal characteristics of money,” he further stressed, explaining that cryptocurrencies’ volatility, exposure to cyber threats, and lack of scalability do not make them a good store of value and medium of exchange.
That said, Yamani Hafez also recognised that despite this, Malaysians must also keep up with the latest development in cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that powers it. He said that the government, through the SC, has hosted events such as the annual FinTech SCxSC Conference so that interested individuals – especially youths – were not left behind in understanding blockchain technology. The Conference has been hosted for eight years since 2014.
“This year, the SCxSC Conference was held from 26 to 28 October 2021. Of the attendees, 60% belonged to the youth group aged 35 and below,” Yamani Hafez shared.
(Source: Malay Mail)
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