KUALA LUMPUR: The government is mulling the idea of cryptocurrency, especially on the role that it may replace, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
“Generally, we are thinking about it. To find out the role it replaces,” he said at the end of his visit to Singapore today.
Asked about International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Christine Lagarde’s statement that the government should consider offering its own cryptocurrency to prevent the system becoming a haven for fraudsters and money launderers, Mahathir said that was her opinion.
“It is her opinion. (But) We are starting it, anyway,” he said.
Various central banks around the world are seriously considering the idea of having cryptocurrency, including Canada, China, Sweden, and Uruguay.
On Harapan Coin, Mahathir said not much thought had been given on the matter.
“We may accept it… but depends on how well it functions,” he said.
Asked if Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) would agree to it, he said: “I haven’t spoken to BNM.”
Cryptocurrency or digital currency is not legal tender in Malaysia.
Mahathir went on to say that what was more interesting than cryptocurrency was a cashless society.
“More interesting is the cashless society of India. They hardly use any money.
“When money is not used, corruption is less possible,” he said, adding that he had spoken to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about it.
Mahathir also said that he had put forward the idea of a common East Asian currency, but only for trading purposes and not for domestic use. The idea was mooted during the Asean Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) Summit.
“That is an old proposal of mine. I thought that this (is) something (that) would enable even foreign countries to handle problems of not having enough foreign exchange,” he said.
On the US-China trade war issue, he said Asean countries were concerned about it.
“China itself is not keen on the trade war (as) it felt it was not contributing to the development of peace in the region,” he said when asked if the issue was discussed during the meetings of the just concluded 33rd Asean Summit and related meetings.
source at : https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/11/15/govt-looking-at-cryptocurrency-idea-says-mahathir/?fbclid=IwAR1KDqFFzIRGa567lxgd5CRS-LMBYOcxn1UiHyut60DtNtScyydunH1UmLc