The Malaysian government has stated that it is looking into legalizing Bitcoin by the end of the year, making it easier for expatriates to send money to their loved ones at home.
Just as China decided to clamp down and ban Bitcoin trades, the Malaysian government is going the other way, opening its arms to Bitcoin trade and usage.
The Malaysia government is about to join other countries like Korea and Japan to regulate and legalize Bitcoin. The government says it is working on policies to regulate the use of Bitcoin in the country so that it isn't used for money laundering, terrorism financing or fraud.
Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Muhammad bin Ibrahim said:
“We hope that by year-end, BNM will be able to come out with some guidelines on cryptocurrency, particularly those related to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.
"We want to ensure that there are clear guidelines for those who want to participate in this sector", he added.
The BNM is the equivalent of Malaysia's central bank.
Good news for expats
Malaysia has a booming industrial sector with lots of business opportunities. It is known majorly for exporting oil, gas, electronics, palm oil and rubber. As a result, it has a lot of expert expatriates who are working and living in the country.
However, these expatriates can't easily send large sums of money back to their loved ones at home because the Malaysian government has imposed strict restrictions on capital outflows. The government has in place policies and regulations to ensure money from Malaysia doesn't end up overseas. Bank transfers take out a 20% commission at times, discouraging one from trying to send money overseas.
A regulated and legalized Bitcoin market will enable expatriates to easily send money to their loved ones back home without the fear of breaking the law. They will be able to register on exchanges to buy bitcoin and send it overseas.
Malaysia will then be joining a host of other Asian countries who have embraced Bitcoin. The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea have evolved into established and well-regulated bitcoin markets.
Bitcoin price up
Perhaps, due to the upcoming legalization of Bitcoin in Malaysia, Bitcoin's price is up. At the time of writing this article, Bitcoin has appreciated 7% (on a 24-hour scale), going for $3,920, and gaining $257 in the process. Bitcoin has been unstable for the past week but the market is still bullish.