We have heard about it being vetted by the Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad last year. It came under fire by the Parliament, with MP Fahmi Fadzil voicing out his concern, stating that,
“The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency may open us up to a number of issues and we need to wait for guidelines from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM or the nation’s central bank) in regard of cryptocurrency.”
Even former PM Najib Razak made comments about the risks of the world’s first political fundraising platform. And, just a couple days back, he even made a jibe at the Federal Territories Minister on Facebook saying (translated from Malay):
“Oh, on my left is the founder (tauke) of Harapan Coin.
That sparked a verbal duel between the two online.
What is Harapan Coin?
So, what exactly is Harapan Coin? According to its main webpage:
Harapan Coin is created for the purpose of eliciting opposing sentiments against the current governing coalition, in preparation for the coming election.
The whitepaper claims that the currency, like any other initial coin offerings (ICOs) are; decentralised, incorruptible and transparent. 30% of the contribution will proceed to the system administrators (faces are blurred, still anonymous), another 30 to Amanah while the remaining to Pakatan Harapan. Like any digital currency, owners can stay anonymous.
As per the webpage, US$45 will provide you with 100 Harapan Coins (HRP). But, other than that, there are no further updates on the site. If you take a look at the roadmap (picture below), this year, there would be further developments with Phase 2 ending by February 2020. There was even a mention of a payment gateway as well.
As of November 2018, Khalid said he would continue with the project. Although the approval from Bank Negara and the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council may take a while.
“It is something that we will carry out, and this is something for the future,” said Khalid at the Universiti Malaya (UM) Blockchain Technology Lab and National Blockchain Seminar launching ceremony.
But take note, Bank Negara does not recognise cryptocurrency as legal tender. Buyers could not get a recourse if anything goes wrong.
Khalid, who is also the co-founder of the project, said the cryptocurrency technology can employed in payment transaction of licenses, summonses and more. He claimed there would be demand and appreciation for cryptocurrency if there is market for it. He may propose to use blockchain for Amanah’s party elections this year as well.
However (again…), as of last week, Khalid claims that the situation is still unclear. He said, “Cryptocurrencies are neither legal nor illegal.”
Well, everything is still hazy – unclear and uncertain. One thing for sure, we do need proper regulations in place for cryptocurrency. The relevant authorities (Bank Negara and the Securities Commission) are still taking their time to slowly consider if this form of currency should be legal or not. But, we do have this for a start:
The Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 came into effect few days ago. Any person offering an ICO or operating a digital asset exchange will require authorisation by the SC. Those who fail to do so could face a fine of not more than RM10 million or 10 years of imprisonment.