Locally illegal bitcoin mining activities have been raided and shut down by government officials in Puchong, Malaysia. This is one of the first raids conducted by the Malaysian authorities targeting cryptocurrency miners.
MPSJ Moves Against Bitcoin Mining
In one of Malaysia’s first such raids, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) moved against two residences in the Puchong Jaya municipality that had been housing bitcoin mining operations.
Per the council, the operations were illegal because they had failed to acquire relevant business permits. A catch-all net of other reasons for the raid were provided by local officials, too, ranging from the site being a fire hazard, to excess electricity consumption.
The illegal bitcoin mining operations also created a nuisance for locals. Neighbors encountered power fluctuations due to the mining activity and complained about the allegedly loud and disorderly conduct of the site’s tenants.
Additionally, Malaysian financial authorities have already declared that cryptocurrencies are not a legal payment method. To this end, The Central Bank of Malaysia is in the process of drafting clear policies with regard to crypto exchanges. The new policies will class digital currency exchanges as reporting bodies under Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism regulations.
Zoning Codes, Eh?
MSPJ councilor Frankie Yap indicated the renters had broken council regulations by turning a residential property into a business facility.
Herein, then, lies a larger theme that will come into play in the coming years: state and government authorities cannot move against decentralized cryptocurrencies themselves, but they can play hardball with traditional regulations in order to make participating in the crypto ecosystem practically impossible.
In this sense, authorities may not be able to wrest your 24 word recovery seed from your mind, but they can definitely shutter your mining operations courtesy of zoning codes and, worse yet, throw you in jail.
Look for such indirect crackdown measures to keep appearing in the months ahead.
Will Malaysian government form stricter regulations for the crypto industry? Let us know what you think below.
Images via The Star, SAYS