The Malaysian Ministry Proposes Legalizing NFTs to Increase Crypto Sector Participation

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Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Multimedia has proposed legalizing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) “to help the younger generation who are actively involved in the space,” Malaysian national news agency, Bernama, reported Monday.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin was asked in Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of Malaysia’s parliament, about the government’s position on NFTs (non-fungible tokens) which have become increasingly popular, particularly among the younger generation.

Zahidi replied:

We hope the government will allow and legalize this so that we can increase the youth’s uptake of cryptocurrencies.

The deputy minister further revealed that the ministry is looking into ways to increase young people’s involvement in digital assets.

He noted that crypto activities are under the purview of the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, and the country’s Securities Commission.

Bernama originally stated that the deputy minister proposed to adopt crypto as legal tender. However, the publication soon removed the legal tender reference and changed its headline to say the deputy minister “proposes legalization of NFT, crypto mining activities.”

Earlier this month, Malaysia’s deputy finance minister said that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum, are not suitable as a means of payment or a store of value. However, he noted that they still have many different uses, including as an asset class that can be invested in.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has been cracking down on illegal cryptocurrency mining activities. In December, the Malaysian police shut down a crypto mining operation and seized 1,720 bitcoin mining machines in an electricity theft crackdown. In July last year, the authorities destroyed over 1,000 bitcoin mining machines with a steamroller.