On January 12, a local Malaysian media source reported that the government there is still not certain whether they will legalize digital currencies. Khalid Abdul Samad, who is the country's federal territories minister, told the New Straits Times that cryptocurrencies are currently neither legal or illegal in the country, but are instead in a state of limbo. Interestingly, he made the comment at an event co-sponsored by Blockchains.My, which is a developer of a multi-blockchain wallet and payment system. Samad also spoke glowingly of the company at the event. Samad has actually been involved in the development of a local intergovernmental digital currency called the Harapan Coin. But, because the matter of cryptocurrency legalization falls under the jurisdiction of the country's finance minister, he has no direct say in the matter and little influence. Last month, the country's central bank — in coordination with the country's financial regulator — announced that they were in the process of establishing government regulations in regards to both digital currency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Previously, senior government ministers indicated that regulation could happen sometime in the first quarter of this year. In November of last year, Lim Guan Eng — who is the country's finance minister — said that any entity wishing to issue digital assets in the country could only so with permission from the central bank. Samad, who had wanted to use the Harapan Coin for government transactions, made a proposal for its use to both Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — who is the country's prime minister — and Bank Negara Malaysia. However, last November a member of the country's parliament said that the government should first implement regulations regarding the use of digital currencies before considering implementing the Harapan Coin. One of the problems with the Harapan Coin at the moment is that nearly a third of the funds being raised for the coin are to benefit the administrators of the system, who are currently unknown.
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