An initial coin offering (ICO) round launched with an aim to raise funds for an opposition political movement is raising eyebrows in Malaysia.
Fahmi Fadzil, Lembah Pantai MP and PKP communications director, urged the government to practice caution while going ahead with the launch of Harapan Coin. The lawmaker said there is a need for the central bank and other financial authorities first to regulate the crypto space. Furthermore, there need to be proper guidelines concerning crypto-based political funding which happens to be the main feature of the Harapan Coin project.
“The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency may open us up to some issues, and we need to wait for guidelines from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in regard of cryptocurrency,” he said while speaking to a lobby of reporters in the parliament
Launched by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad, Harapan Coin utilizes the concept of tokenized funding to raise donations for Pakatan Harapan political party. With elections only a year away, the minister is gearing up to submit his proposal to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) for regulatory approval. Previously, he had also reached out to Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council for their decisions on the ICO project.
“I have prepared a presentation to be presented to these important parties,” said Samad. “It may take a while to get the approval as the prime minister himself is occupied with tight schedules. And, this is not the main agenda as of now. But, I want to pursue this project.”
Samad echoed Fadzil’s opinion on precautions, supporting the need to set up a regulatory body that protects the Harapan Coin from manipulation from the outside.
“It is something that we will carry out, and this is something for the future,” he added.
As of now, the Harapan Coin project is live and has raised close to $674 against the $120 million funding target.
The Malaysian central bank as of now neither recognizes nor bans cryptocurrency operations. Muhammad Ibrahim, the governor of BNM, said in February that it is the owners who should decide whether the decentralized assets like Bitcoin hold any economic relevance or not. Nevertheless, the bank reminded that they would take necessary action against people found to be indulged in any illegal operations.
As for Harapan Coin, the project seems to be doing everything by the traditional books but a better look at the investor protection and coin security could raise its standards.
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