Malaysia could be about to follow in the footsteps of El Salvador and make Bitcoin a form of legal tender alongside conventional fiat currency within the country.
The Latin American country decided to introduce its own Bitcoin Law in 2021 as they make the cryptocurrency available to be used to pay for a variety of goods and services, whilst there are a host of other countries around the world considering it.
Switzerland could be about to make Bitcoin its “de facto” legal tender, whilst nations including Tonga and Mexico are thought to be exploring the idea a little further before potentially making a decision. Indeed, Malaysia appears to have joined them, too.
The Asian nation does still have a rather long way to go, although there is some strong support from governmental officials, including Zahidi Zainul Abidin, who is the country’s Communications and Multimedia Minister.
Speaking about the idea in front of Parliament, he said: “We hope the government will allow this. We are trying to see how we can legalize this so that we can develop the participation of young people in cryptocurrencies and help them.”
Indeed, it is wise to note that the initiative is still a concept and remains at the stage of being an idea. There have been no official plans or announcements to make Bitcoin a legal form of tender, whilst there has been no formal presentation of legislation to try and change the country’s financial laws, with the Finance Ministry dictating the laws.
The Malaysian casino market could benefit
Should Malaysia decide to implement cryptocurrency as a form of legal tender, though, there are some that believe the casino market can benefit and perhaps help it to grow further. As there is no legal online gambling activity at the moment, many Malaysians are already using virtual currency to satisfy their gambling needs. A BTC casino has become the preferred option for many as it can be accessed without fear of consequence, whilst also allowing them to enjoy online gambling whenever they want.
Nonetheless, it would seem there could be some changes on the horizon for citizens in the Asian country, as there has been a lot of talk recently about Central bank digital currencies (CBDC), with a large number of jurisdictions exploring the role that they can play.
The country has already piloted a scheme that uses CBDC, as they have looked at making cross-border transactions with Australia, Singapore, and South Africa. However, despite this, they are yet to address the inclusion of existing cryptocurrencies within this process and trial.
Cryptocurrency popularity on a global rise
As previously mentioned, there is certainly a lot of interest in cryptocurrency, with it clear that there is plenty of global attention on the market.
El Salvador is currently the only country to have actually legalized Bitcoin as a form of legal tender, whereas Switzerland, Tonga, and Mexico have all been touted as possible destinations that could follow suit in the future.
When looking at the Latin American nation, there are some who have cited its introduction as a failure, although there are others to have tried to downplay those claims, suggesting that the initiative has actually worked in a variety of different ways.
The Minister of Tourism had stated in February that tourism had increased by over 30% since the legalization of Bitcoin, although many are taking that with a pinch of salt as restrictions have since been eased regarding COVID-19.
Around 14% of consumer activity in the country is thought to be conducted via the use of Bitcoin, which has been used as a negative claim against the initiative. However, there are others that would suggest that this is a success, especially since it has been a year since the Bitcoin Law was introduced.
Would Malaysia be able to benefit if they were to introduce Bitcoin as a form of legal tender? That is anyone’s guess at the moment and something only time will tell. There is no denying that many will be critical, but there is every chance that it can have a profound impact, too.