Malaysia rarely appears on blockchain news, yet our observations show that the country is home to many interesting projects, global collaborations, and the government is actively promoting the technology.

Zetrix, a layer 1 blockchain project of Malaysian MYEG e-government solutions giant cooperates with China's national blockchain, Xinghuo Blockchain Infrastructure and Facility (Xinghuo BIF) on developing Malaysia Blockchain Infrastructure (MBI). The MBI is a key strategy of the National Blockchain Roadmap that was launched by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) on 9th August 2022.

China’s Xinghuo BIF is a national blockchain infrastructure under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology managed by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology launched in 2022. This is the second national blockchain project by China after the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) which was launched in 2020.

The National Blockchain Roadmap 2021-2025, published by the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), provides a comprehensive plan for the adoption and implementation of blockchain technology in Malaysia. The roadmap covers not only the financial applications of the technology, but also its potential in supply chain management, governance, and healthcare. It also outlines the key challenges and opportunities for blockchain technology in Malaysia and provides recommendations for stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

Malaysia's central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), has been exploring the use of blockchain technology to improve the country's financial infrastructure. BNM collaborates with the BIS Innovation Hub, Reserve Bank of Australia, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and South African Reserve Bank on the wholesale CBDC Project Dunbar. In a recent query of Bloomberg, a BNM representative answered that “BNM is actively assessing the value proposition of central bank digital currency (CBDC) to Malaysia,”

From the commercial banks, Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad made most of the crypto news in Malaysia. In 2021 this largest private investment bank acquired a stake in the local crypto exchange. In 2022 it was reported that it partnered with China’s tech giant Ant Group to launch a crypto-friendly wallet and trading application. Its launch was expected in early 2023, however, at the time of writing there were no updates regarding it.

Crypto tech firms and startups are also active in Malaysia. The most prominent one is EtherScan, the most advanced block explorer and analytics platform for Ethereum platform. Founded in 2015, the team behind Etherscan has since expanded into other chains, creating block explorers for Fantom, Polygon, BSC, Arbitrum, Solana and many more.

Malaysia's crypto regulation does not prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies, although a statement dated 2014 is placed on the central bank's website warning citizens about the risks of Bitcoin. Crypto companies have to comply with AML and TF rules as well as amendments regarding token projects passed in 2019. Malaysian Securities Commission has published guidelines on recognized markets that govern public crowdfunding, p2p and other activities relevant to digital asset operators.

Malaysia is now on our Observation map and we will update you on each of the above projects.

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