By Sabrina Loh
Crypto. Bitcoin. Magic internet money. One or more of these terms have probably crossed your radar by now. Or you might have even seen your friends post indiscernible graphs of their crypto gains and losses on Instagram. Crypto has been all the hype lately, and you may be wondering how to get your hands on it.
Crypto has been historically difficult to buy in Malaysia because it occupies a fuzzy legal area. But with new processes introduced by the Malaysian government in 2018, it’s becoming simpler than ever.
If you’ve been thinking of jumping on the crypto bandwagon, here are some things you should know about how to buy crypto in Malaysia.
What is crypto?
Crypto, short for cryptocurrency, is a form of currency that exists digitally and uses cryptography to secure transactions.
Many cryptocurrencies use a decentralised system based on blockchain technology to record transactions and issue new units, allowing them to exist outside the control of governments and central authorities.
Because of this, many experts believe that crypto will disrupt many industries, including finance and law.
Is crypto legal in Malaysia?
Crypto is not legal tender in Malaysia — that means it’s not a legally recognised payment method.
However, that doesn’t mean that crypto is illegal. There are no laws prohibiting the exchange of services or assets of cryptocurrencies in Malaysia.
For example, US Dollars are not legal tender in Malaysia, but that doesn’t mean it’s illegal for you to use it if it’s accepted by the merchant. The giver and receiver of the currency must both simply agree to the trade.
Cryptocurrencies you can buy in Malaysia
At the time of writing, the Securities Commission of Malaysia has approved the buying and selling of 5 types of crypto in Malaysia:
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
There are over 10,000 types of cryptocurrencies in the world as of 2022, and you can still purchase any of these types of cryptocurrencies in Malaysia
Where to buy crypto in Malaysia
1. Licensed Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The legal way to buy crypto in Malaysia is through a licensed Digital Asset Exchange (DAX).
This is because the Securities Commission requires these platforms by law to have an independent trustee to entrust their investor’s funds to, instead of the platform itself. So if things go south with the platform, the Securities Commission can protect your funds on some level.
As of now, only four exchanges are licensed and regulated by the Securities Commission of Malaysia.
Opening an account with any of these platforms is easy. Just go to the website/app, complete the verification process, transfer your funds, and buy any of the cryptocurrencies offered.
2. Peer-to-Peer Marketplace
Another way to buy and sell crypto in Malaysia is through a peer-to-peer marketplace (P2P). Instead of going through an exchange platform, you can sell it directly to another individual.
Sellers will post what they have for sale, how much they want it for, and acceptable payment methods, of which your BigPay e-wallet can be used on some of these P2P platforms.
All you have to do is register and get in touch with the buyer.
Before you make your first crypto purchase, here are some things to consider first:
Purchasing crypto through any platform incurs fees that will add up over time. There are three ways to fund your exchange:
The cheapest way is typically through depositing money from your bank account onto your exchange, then using it for purchases later.
However, the downside to this is bank transfers typically take a few days and you may have to wait a long time for the money to arrive. With the volatility of the crypto market, many things can change very quickly.
You can also buy crypto through a credit card, however, fees are typically much more expensive. This is because credit cards can only be used for instant purchases, so you cannot use them to deposit funds in your exchange account.
Credit card providers will also usually charge you a cash advance fee.
Of the three ways to fund your exchange, debit cards charge reasonable fees and near-instant deposit of funds. Because of this, many opt to use debit cards to purchase crypto.
Your BigPay account comes with a Visa debit card that is accepted by 45 million merchants across the world, making it a popular payment method for top exchange platforms across the globe. Sign up for free here.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have irreversible transactions to protect against fraud and double-spending. This means if you type in the wrong recipient address or overpaid, it can never be undone.
Therefore, always double (or triple!) check the amount you're sending, as well as the receiver and sender address to avoid an irreversible mistake.
The Bottom Line
Buying crypto in Malaysia is a relatively straightforward process with many platforms available for you to do so.
However, cryptocurrency is still a fairly new asset class that can be very volatile and high-risk, so always do your research before investing and treat it with caution.
Download the BigPay app on iOS an Android.
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