Malaysian Government officials are currently discussing the next steps for adopting Bitcoin as legal tender for the country. Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Zahidi Zainul Abidin, hopes that the government can allow Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to be adopted as legal tender could provide stronger commerce connections between citizens and businesses, and may be the future for younger generations.
This announcement was made in order to begin the process of writing up legislation with the Finance Ministry and Central Bank. The Ministry of Housing and Local Government would also need to be involved with developing legislation.
If legislations is passed, the main role for the Communications and Multimedia Ministry will be to roll out 5G across the country as well as seek investment for technology within the country. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulations will require their department along with the others mentioned in order to best assess how it can be accessible to all citizens in a timely and well thought out manner. Future developments within the technology will also be taken into consideration by all ministries involved.
El Salvador is a good example for how regulations will be addressed and then passed within Malaysia. Announcements about the consideration for using Bitcoin as legal tender were made by President Nayib Bukele back in 2017.
In 2019, the Bitcoin Beach project, located in El Zonte, created a community to test all the assumptions that Bitcoin could not be used as a peer-to-peer network for commerce. With continued improvements upon the Lightning Network, the people were able to make instant payments and a circular economy in the small beach town.
The country was finally able to pass legislation in June of 2021 and then see the bill go into effect later in September. With all of the steps taken by El Salvador, countries like Malaysia can fast-track adoption for their citizens.