Bitcoin had its best ever showing this November. Pic: Reuters

After China, another Asian country mulls banning cryptocurrencies

MALAYSIA is looking into the possibility of banning trading of cryptocurrencies in the country in a decision that looks set to follow a similar ruling enforced in China recently.

According to state news agency Bernama (via the Malaysian Insight), the Southeast Asian country’s central bank made the announcement last Thursday as transactions involving the increasingly popular digital currency have gone largely unregulated.

“This (ban on cryptocurrencies) is something that we will decide on by the end of the year,” Bank Negara Malaysia’s Governor Muhammad Ibrahim told reported when asked if Malaysia would follow in China’s footsteps.

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin prices surge despite China’s full-out crackdown

Other than China, South Korea has also announced a ban on initial coin offering, a way which state-ups raise funds to mine the cryptocurrencies.

Muhammad said by the end of the year, the central bank would reveal Malaysia’s stance on cryptocurrencies through a special guideline.

He said if the digital currencies were allowed, the guidelines would involve registration of the traders and “collecting the data, and also making sure whatever they do will be (made) transparent”.

“Just wait. Now is only October. In less than three months, we will give you the details.”

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin’s biggest mine is far, far away from where you’d expect

He added the risks associated with money laundering and terrorism financing in the country.

In September, China took on a particularly strict stance on the cryptocurrency.  Over the last few months, the economic superpower initiated a purge of cryptocurrency firms, culminating in closures involving several of the largest bitcoin exchange firms in the country.

The actual reasons behind China’s bitcoin purge remain unclear, though speculations are high that the government has begun to get concerned about the ever-increasing number of people investing in cryptocurrency. Since the Chinese government does not have any formal regulation over cryptocurrency, the Asian superpower appears to have decided to relinquish bitcoin altogether.