Malaysian Now Use Bitcoin To Buy Durian!

While Bitcoin continues its quest to make record high, and brouhaha still going on around the world (such as the recent debate on whether it is a fraud) regarding the legality and application of this cryptocurrency, more and more Malaysians are now using Bitcoin as a form of payment in their daily life, from paying workshop service fees of their automobile maintenance to even buying the King of fruits – Durian!

Bitcoin and durian

Image: Durian is a famous tropical fruit from Malaysia.

In a video where customer making a paying for his Durian purchase (which was uploaded to Youtube sometime in April 2017), it clearly shows that how 0.007 Bitcoin was transferred from the buyer to the seller in a Durian trade. The Durian seller must be very happy now if those coins are still with him, as the price of Bitcoin back then was only around USD1175, and we are seeing USD8200 at the time of writing.

In another video uploaded in Jun 2017, where a customer making payment for workshop fees, the car owner is paying the mechanic in Bitcoin using one of the popular exchange most Malaysian are familiar with, which is Luno. It clearly shows that the payment of MYR 200 equivalent in Bitcoin was made through a Luno account.

Luno – One of Bitcoin Exchange in Malaysia

The public who are exposed to the Crypto world in Malaysia knows that if they were to trade or convert their Bitcoin into local sovereign currency (Malaysian Ringgit), one of the services they can use is that of Luno, because it is able to link to their local bank accounts.

For Malaysian to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum on Luno, all they need is to prove that they are genuine, real residents in Malaysia through some documents such as electricity bill. Once verified, they can start transferring money in between Crypto and Fiat through authorized banks, either Maybank or CIMB Bank at the moment. There may be more banks to come, once the Malaysian government finalize and make their stand on Crypto Economy clear. The move of identity proofing might be needed in comply with KYC and AML policies, where the government of Malaysia is committed to fighting terrorism and globalized illegal activities.

Bitcoin – A Challenge of Price Volatility

While Bitcoin is gaining its share in the mining, trading, and daily usage in the Malaysian society, it still quite a distance away from mass market acceptance, due to its high volatility in price.

You wouldn’t want to receive a bitcoin that is worth USD 7,000 in the morning and suddenly realize it is only worth USD 6,500 in less than 24 hours (this happened in early November 2017). A whopping USD 500 loss in value in less than one day. Yes, of course the opposite might happen, but do you want to take that bet? Most people won’t, especially those selling physical goods with relatively low margins.

Digital Currencies – Towards The New Normal

While the price volatility is a general challenge, which the community and the stakeholders are trying to solve, the Malaysian government and related industry players are making their best effort in adopting and embrace this new technology into the country.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, mentioned these words: Blockchain, digital currency(crypto) and cashless transaction as the new normal in part of his speech addressing to a crowd of entrepreneurs. He is setting the direction pretty clear for the country. The Crypto Tech and Crypto Economy could be the complementing piece to the government’s DFTZ (Digital Free Trade Zone) effort, in making Malaysia one of the forefront of the Digital Economy.

The Malaysian Central Bank, BNM (Bank Negara Malaysia), had just made a step forward as well, clearing the air by announcing the government’s standpoint when it comes to Cryptocurrencies conversion. In a press release made on Nov 22, 2017 through Bernama (The National News Agency of Malaysia), it stated that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will designate persons converting crypto currencies into fiat money as reporting institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 beginning next year.

There are also comments and suggestions made by top notch bankers in Malaysia. For instance, CEO of AmInvestment Bank, Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz, had called the government to allow cryptocurrencies’ usage as electronic money.

“It’s just an electronic currency that doesn’t belong to anybody while fiat currency is sovereign based where it has its own jurisdiction regulators. I support cryptocurrency because it is a global trade,” said Raja Teh Maimunah.

While a final decision will only be made by end of the year, and clearer framework could only come after that, we are seeing a positive initiative from the country’s top leader, regulators, industry players, and the public acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Malaysia.

I would like to end this article quoting what Neo said in the movie “The Matrix”:

To my fellow Malaysians, where we go from here is a choice I leave to you.

Reference Links

https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin/#charts

Beli Durian Pun Guna BITCOIN?

“SERVIS KERETA”, BAYAR GUNA BITCOIN!

PM Malaysia Galakkan Blockchain dan Crypto Currency Bitcoin

BNM To Enforce Crypto Regulation Next Year
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/bu/newsbusiness.php?id=1412883

Allow cryptocurrency’s usage as electronic money – Raja Teh Maimunah
https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/11/22/allow-cryptocurrency-usage-but-ban-its-use-as-speculative-tool/

Decision on usage of cryptocurrencies by year end, Bank Negara governor says
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/money/article/bnm-says-may-ban-bitcoin-cryptocurrencies

The Bitcoin Big Bang: How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World

An understanding of how Bitcoin is changing the future of finance, and even the nature of the Internet itself, is mandatory for anyone looking to invest in or prepare for new trading platforms. Uniquely, The Bitcoin Big Bang emphasizes the technological underpinning of Bitcoin – the “blockchain.”

Whether Bitcoin is or isn’t a legitimate currency is, according to Brian Kelly, next to irrelevant.

With its ability to record every Bitcoin transaction and securely transfer value over insecure networks,

the blockchain is a game changer.

Ultimately, The Bitcoin Big Bang answers one of the most pressing questions in finance, business, government, and beyond: “What is Bitcoin and how will it change the world?”

It is a story of evolution.

It is the evolution of currencies, payment systems, how money is used, financial services, and even the way business is organized. It is that moment when you realize the world has changed, permanently and forever. Evolution is a laborious grind, until BANG – everything changes at once.

Eventually mainstream products, companies and industries emerge to commercialize it; its effects become profound; and later, many people wonder why its powerful promise wasn’t more obvious from the start. What technology am I talking about? Personal computers in 1975, the Internet in 1993, and – I believe – Bitcoin in 2014. ~ Marc Andreessen, inventor of the Web browser and cofounder of Netscape

From the book:

The Bitcoin Big Bang: How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World

Is Bitcoin A Fraud?

Bitcoin “is a fraud” and will blow up, said Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co, on Tuesday, 13th September 2017.

Coming from someone that was responsible to pay 13 billion for the financial crisis.

Load of crap. He said the same thing 2 years ago. The reality is that it threatens banking industry and there’s no way of stopping it.

And these info further explain why the statement above:
Big Business Giants From Microsoft to J.P. Morgan Are Getting Behind Ethereum
JPMorgan Chase To Integrate Zcash Technology To Its Enterprise Blockchain Platform

Vested interest in Ethereum and ZCash. You bet.

Indeed, Bitcoin has died 160 times.

Big banks like JP Morgan have had a ‘monopoly on money’ for far too long, and for the first time ever, that’s changing.

You just can’t stop hundreds of millions of consumers who are fed up with an archaic monetary system that is controlled by a handful of wealthy Wall Streeters.

Be ready to compete against hundreds of thousands of hungry young entrepreneurs ready to solve the problems you’ve left untouched for decades.

How many Bitcoin being echanged in 5 minutes?

You can now watch the world currencies flow into BTC in realtime, thanks to FiatLeak.com

Image above shown a sample of the info. Each trade results in a Bitcoin being sent from the currency counter in red to the country on the map. The value in BTC is listed in green and plotted across the map. The last exchange rate for each currency is listed in @purple and updated for each trade.

In the sample above, 106.8 Bitcoin being exchanged from US Dollar, Chinese Yuen, Italian Lira (ILS), Brazillian Real (BRL), and South African Rand (ZAR) in past 5 minutes when the editor is checking out the website.

Fiat Money VS Cryptocurrency

The invention of the blockchain has given rise to a new species of currency, that of crypto currency. Existing innovations in the cryptocurrency space foreshadow the potential that currencies could be designed as such to not only act as currencies but represent other forms of value as well.

Decentralized, which implies a trust-less and distributed network, made possible through blockchain-based technology.

Image source: https://www.coindesk.com/origins-money-darwin-evolution-cryptocurrency/

Why do people call it currency?

A currency, as defined, refers to money in any form when in actual use or circulation as a medium of exchange, especially circulating banknotes and coins.

Let’s illustrate it in an oversimplified story.

One day, a lady came to a town where everybody seems to be living on debt.

She stopped by a motel, put down a $1,000 notes on the reception table as the deposit, and said that she’d like to check out the rooms upstairs.

As the lady walked upstairs, the motel owner grabbed the $1,000 notes, ran to the butcher next door and settled his bill.

With that $1,000 notes, the butcher ran to the farmer who lived opposite the river and paid his debt.

The farmer cleared his $1,000 debt to his supplier with the money he just received from the butcher.

The supplier quickly settled his bill with the masseur for last night’s services.

With this $1,000, the masseur paid the room rental to the motel owner.

As the lady walked down the stairs, the $1,000 is already back on the reception table.

The lady took back the $1,000 notes and left the motel as she couldn’t find the room she likes.

While it seems that nobody produced anything, and nobody gained anything on that day, all the debt was cleared!

This is money at work.

Money is only as useful as it should be when it is being circulated.