Be wary of virtual money, M’sians told

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have been warned against investing in virtual or Internet money as their savings could be wiped out if the exchange is hacked or runs into financial troubles.

Over the last month, two major Bitcoin exchanges in Japan and Canada have gone offline, filed for bankruptcy or closed down after claiming more than US$500mil (RM1.6bil) in losses due to hacking.

In light of the controversy, Bank Negara has advised the public to be cautious of the risks involved in using digital currency, stressing that Bitcoin is not recognised as legal tender in Malaysia.

“The Central Bank does not regulate the operations of Bitcoin. The value is subject to fluctuations, (hence) the value of the investments may not be preserved,” an official told Sunday Star.

China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Germany, France and Russia, have also issued similar warnings or banned the use of virtual currency. In Singapore, there are plans to regulate virtual currency exchanges and vending machines to address concerns that they could be used for money laundering or to fund terrorism activities.

by Christina Chin.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/03/30/Be-wary-of-virtual-money-Msians-told-Bitcoin-is-not-recognised-as-legal-tender-here-stresses-Bank-Ne/

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