21 Nov 2018 · 1 min read

Malaysia: Experts and Politicians Clash over Political Coin

Cryptocurrencies are high on the agenda in Malaysia now – with fresh developments in a controversial political funding crypto-project.

Source: iStock/Chaloemkiad

The controversy surrounds Harapan Coin (HC), a cryptocurrency designed to aid political funding in Malaysia, co-founded by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad. The HC project has won support from several leading politicians, and proposes to give 30% of token sales to Khalid Samad’s National Trust Party (also known as Amanah), 10% to the ruling ‎Pakatan Harapan coalition and the remainder to the token’s developers.

However, FMT News reports that a cybersecurity expert has urged the government not “to rush into dealing with cryptocurrency.” The media outlet quotes CF Wong of security firm LGMS as stating, “So many government sites are still being hacked into. Let’s get the fundamentals sorted out first. Our ability to manage the security of the [HC] cryptocurrency platform will remain questionable if we do not address [these] problems.”

However, Khalid Samad is still hopeful that financial authorities will approve of the HC initiative, despite a recent non-committal statement from the country’s prime minister on the matter. Per Malay Mail, Khalid Samad says that a central bank taskforce is currently studying HC’s proposal in detail.

The issue is further clouded by a recent announcement from the country’s leading Islamic law expert, Federal Territories Mufti Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri. The Mufti stated that Bitcoin should be considered haram (forbidden under Islamic law), meaning trading in the cryptocurrency should be prohibited in Malaysia.

However, Khalid Samad has stated that the per the Mufti’s ruling, the HC project would not be considered halal (permitted under Islamic law) if it met certain key criteria. The minister has called for the establishment of “a governing body to oversee HC,” which, he says, would help it meet the Mufti’s requirements.

Earlier this week, meanwhile, the CIMB Group, one of the biggest banks in the country, announced it would be joining RippleNet.

RippleNet is Ripple’s blockchain-powered, instant cross-border payments project.
Weekly LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, volume (in bitcoin) in Malaysia:

Source: coin.dance