Updated on January 2018. One of the biggest Malaysian Bitcoin exchanges – Luno has been under scrutiny by the inland revenue board (IRB) of Malaysia. Their bank account has been shut down or locked for weeks since December 2017.
In an article published by The Star (dated 19 Jan) with the title: IRB – Cryptocurrency not regulated but traders still subject to Malaysian income tax law.
In the article, it was stated that cryptocurrencies in Malaysia are largely unregulated, and they are currently doing standard procedural checks on Luno to make sure they comply with tax laws. Luno has advised traders in Malaysia to uphold standard tax regulatory practices in their trading.
It seems that cryptocurrency trading in Malaysia is still a grey area, and that there has to be ongoing checks by the relevant departments to ensure nothing fishy is going on.
Is Bitcoin legal in Malaysia? That seems to be the question on everyone’s mind.
While we are not legal consultants on such matters, we’ve been following closely the news headlines of the recent months in order to determine is Bitcoin legal in Malaysia.
Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia on the legality of bitcoin by country:
BNM (Bank Negara Malaysia) issued a statement on 6 January 2014 that Bitcoin is not recognised as a legal tender in Malaysia. The central bank will not regulate Bitcoin operations at the moment and users should aware of the risks associated with Bitcoin usage.
On 4 October 2017, BNM announced that The decision on whether cryptocurrencies should be banned in Malaysia will be taken by them before the end of the year.
Thus, in order to determine is Bitcoin legal in Malaysia, we will have to wait for the official announcement at the end of the year by Bank Negara Malaysia.
One way to get the latest updates would be to follow their official website here.
That being said, Bitcoin is still widely accepted across the world. If anything happens in Malaysia, rest assured, your Bitcoin can still be used overseas to make purchases and still has value according to the Bitcoin Price Malaysia index.
As long as there is a wide demand by people for digital currencies such as Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies), you can rest assured there will still be value in investing in Bitcoin.
Furthermore, your Bitcoin wallet is your own and the beauty of the blockchain is it is a decentralized system so technically you still may send coins to others freely (as of now).
Although, regulation should be welcomed by appropriate parties to prevent illegal money laundering by the wrong parties (people who want to do bad with money that is).
With this, we would love to hear your thought… Is Bitcoin legal in Malaysia? You tell us, drop us a note in the comments below!