Bitcoin Price Malaysia
How to buy Bitcoin in Malaysia and worldwide
Technology is moving too fast. Every other day something new is coming up. If we don’t keep pace with the fast-changing world, we’d be left far behind. The blockchain technology is something we must know. If you don’t know its application, it’s better you now learn and know. Since you are reading this article you probably are knowing about the Bitcoins and blockchain technology, at least a little bit.
However, let me say that its applications are not just limited to Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies but its highly likely that it will affect your life in a big way in a near future. Therefore, for a better living in the future lets examine and review some aspects of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology especially in Malaysia.
Let me write this important note here at the very outset that knowing, learning, and testing the Bitcoin use and the Blockchain technology is one thing and investing or using it is an entirely different thing.
This blog post is intended to encourage learning, testing of Bitcoin use and the Blockchain technology and is not at any investment advice or suggestions to use it for any other purpose.
If you do end up buying or investing in the cryptocurrencies please do at your own risk and with the small amount that if lost, it won’t impact your life. Maybe only the extra money you don’t mind losing if everything goes wrong.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency
What is Bitcoin? What are cryptocurrencies? and what is Blockchain?
Answers to all these questions can be found at hundreds of websites telling you about it in details. So I am not writing such details here. I’ll write just a brief introduction and then proceed to the actual topic of this article. Bitcoin is a new type of payment network a kind of money with fast peer to peer transaction and no central authority. It is a cryptocurrency or a digital payment system – find more at Wikipedia.
How is Bitcoin bought, sold and kept in the digital coin wallets or the hard wallets
Since the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment is a very risky thing and that is the reason I am not encouraging people to invest large sums in this very volatile investment area. But at the same time I do encourage you to know more and at least experience yourself as to how the cryptocurrencies are bought, sold, held and transacted. Take it as an educational and learning exercise with minimum possible amounts – a hundred bucks or so for example.
Bitcoin – the money of the future?
I call it a learning exercise because many believe it will be the way the people in the future will be paying and receiving money from one another. In a way, it is a very secure way of holding and transferring but at the same time is very insecure. It is secure because if you take proper precautions there is no way anyone can take your money from your wallet – digital or hard – but if you lose the private key and someone else gets your key phrases your money in that wallet is gone forever and there is no way you can get it back.
Also buying, holding, and selling is neither allowed nor disallowed in many countries. So until this day, it is a kind of neither legal or illegal. There are either no or very minimum government rules about it. We don’t, however, know yet what rules would be framed and enforced by the government in future.
Bank Negara Malaysia’s Position about Bitcoins
The Bank Negara Malaysia’s statement on Bitcoin states: “The Bitcoin is not recognised as legal tender in Malaysia.The Central Bank does not regulate the operations of Bitcoin.The public is therefore advised to be cautious of the risks associated with the usage of such digital currency.” Bank Negara Malaysia. 2 January 2014. (retrieved on 23 September 2017). See BNM website for latest updated info or advisory. Latest news report about Crypto currencies and Bank Negara Malaysia.
Since holding and transacting cryptocurrencies means you are bypassing the prevalent banking system so this is not liked by them. It is highly likely that they will take every chance to persuade governments to do something to stop cryptocurrency transaction. However, it appears next to impossible to completely stop the cryptocurrency transactions. At this stage, nothing is final this technology is still evolving and the government’s and banking systems have no idea what to do.
Due to these uncertainties, it may not be wise to put large sums of money in this area. However, it is also unwise to ignore this evolving financial technology altogether. I believe one must know how to buy, sell, transact, and keep the crypto-currencies safe in their digital or hard wallets and that is the objective of this article.
What is digital coin wallet?
The first step for anyone to buy Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is to have a wallet for it to keep them. Since these cryptocurrencies are not physical things but it kind of digital puzzles solved by unique digital formulas, these can only be stored in a digital way. The locations where these are stored are spread over thousands of nodes connected through the Internet but the unique keys of these Bitcoins are stored in your wallet.
These wallets are either cloud based on and connected to you through the internet. There are some wallets which can be downloaded on your desktops and you can store your bitcoins there or on your mobile devices. There are other standalone special devices in which you can store and keep your Bitcoins. These later devices are called hard wallets (hardware wallets) we will talk more about these hard wallets later.
Online digital coin wallets
There are many sites connected through the Internet where you can create your digital coin wallet. I created my first digital wallet on blockchain.info and second on Mycelium. These digital coin wallets have their Android mobile apps as well.
During the sign-up process, you would be given a phrase to Backup on a paper, which is usually 12-word phrase.
You would be asked to print these words on a piece of paper and keep it safe at more than one place. This is because if something happens and you lose one copy for example in a fire or flood etc you can still have another copy.
Security – Extremely Important
The security of this phrase is extremely important. If you lose this phrase you lose your Bitcoins. If someone steals it, the thief becomes the new owner of your Bitcoins. So be careful and make the safety of your private keys as the topmost priority.
Many dedicated online wallets store your Bitcoins safe, especially if in small quantities, but these wallets don’t help you buy or sell Bitcoins for you. You need to buy and transfer your Bitcoins to these secure digital coin wallet. Some buy and sell sites offer their own wallet now. However, I prefer to buy from any site or trustworthy individual and transfer to my wallet at Blockchain or mycelium or any other dedicated secure digital coin wallet or hard wallet.
How to buy bitcoin in Malaysia and elsewhere?
There are many ways you can buy, sell and use Bitcoins. As mentioned earlier, the easiest way is that if you know any trustworthy individuals who own Bitcoin, you can buy from him or her. How to do this? Let’s in go through the steps involved. Generate your digital wallet address, copy and paste and send to the person from whom you are buying Bitcoins. He or she will just need to copy and paste the wallet address you provided to him and send the specific amount of the Bitcoin to you.
You may get it in your digital coin wallet either instantaneously or it may take a few hours to appear. You can pay to your trustworthy seller in any currency you had previously agreed with him or her.
Generating Digital Coin Wallet Address
Generate your digital wallet address, copy and paste and send to the person from whom you are buying Bitcoins. He or she will just need to copy and paste the wallet address you provided to the seller and send the specific amount of the Bitcoin to you.
Receiving Bitcoins or Etherium or other cryptocurrencies
You may get it in your digital coin wallet either instantaneously or it may take a few hours to appear. You can pay to your trustworthy seller in any currency you had previously agreed with them.
Buying from Bitcoin Selling Websites
If you don’t have any trustworthy seller you may register with any website which sells Bitcoin. Some will ask for verification of your identity and phone number etc; others don’t ask for such verification.
I used coinmama.com to buy my first Bitcoin. One Bitcoin is quite expensive. So I only bought a fraction of it equivalent to USD $60 at the time of purchase.
At coinmama.com I registered first and then bought the Bitcoin using my credit card. The site asked me for a wallet address. I generated a wallet address at Blockchain to receive the Bitcoins. I copied and pasted the wallet address in the specified space in the coinmama.com form, provided purchase amount, credit card details and clicked ‘Buy’. After successful credit card payment processing, I was able to receive the bought BTC (Bitcoins) in my blockchain wallet.
Bitcoins in your digital coin wallet – What next?
Once the Bitcoins are in my digital coin wallet I can keep it there indefinitely, send to anyone or if any merchant accepts payments, I can scan the QR code of his digital coin wallet and transfer the specific payment to them directly if I am buying anything from that merchant.
There are many ways to buy Bitcoin in Malaysia and elsewhere. Every transaction would be basically the same as above. You need to provide your wallet address for others to transfer money to you. Similarly, you need the others’ wallet address to send money to them. You can generate wallet address in your wallet app or website. You can send it by email, text or WhatsApp messages etc.
If you happen to be nearby, face to face, your wallet app can generate QR code. The other person’s wallet can scan the QR code and vice versa to read the wallet address and complete the transaction.
Buying Bitcoins using credit cards and bank transfers
My experience with the sites which sell Bitcoin is like this. When you buy bitcoins using a credit card you also pay some extra fee for credit card processing. However if you buy it from her trustworthy individual you know, you can save these costs.
There are are some sites which provide you the facility of transferring funds from your banks to them directly. Once your funds are transferred and reflected in your account on the website you can use these funds to buy Bitcoins.
Sites which accept payments via bank transfer in Malaysia
One such site that works Malaysia is luno.com. They have a mobile app for Android phones as well. Once you sign up with them they will need some verification from you. When they received your documents scans, they will verify your account. When I signed up for luno.com account it took them two days to verify my account. I feel this is a very slow process. They have Malaysian Maybank account. So I have had to transfer funds from my RHB account to their Maybank account first. After successful online transfer (no cash deposits accepted) it took about half an hour for funds to appear in my luno.com account. I was then able to buy the Bitcoins from them instantaneously.
Where to keep Bitcoins bought in this way?
The Bitcoins bought in this way reside in their own digital coin wallet. They, however, provide facility to send Bitcoin to any other wallets. I wanted to send my Bitcoins to my blockchain.info wallet as I feel more comfortable to place my crypto coins there, or at Mycelium instead of luno.com provided wallet. So I generated wallet address at my blockchain wallet and tried to send my BTC 0.0274 to Blockchain wallet but it did not go through. A message appeared telling me that this amount is below the minimum amount required! This is strange because, let’s say if we buy anything and want to pay in BTC, we can’t use these BTC stored in luno.com wallet to pay for such a purchase unless the price is above a certain limit. This is not acceptable.
Contacting the Support Team of these Sites – How Quickly they Respond?
If you face any problem, you need to contact the support team. Good sites would respond very fast. However, my experience is not really good with luno.com. Due to the above-mentioned problem, I decided to contact them and created a formal support ticket (reference number: 203780 dated 20th September 2017). This is to get a clear picture and solution to this problem. But they appear very slow to respond. Until writing of this article, I had not heard from them. Four days have already passed by. They have yet to reply. I need to know if and how I can transfer my BTC 0.274 from my luno.com wallet to my Blockchain or Mycelium wallet.
Buy Back Facility
They, however, provide you facility to sell them back the bitcoins you have in your wallet luno.com. I have not tried this facility. But if my wallet at luno.com cannot transfer my Bitcoins to my Blockchain or Mycelium wallet, I will have no option but to sell my Bitcoins back to them and transfer my money to my bank account. I am not sure if I will get full amount or only after some deductions.
Word of caution
Just a thought comes to mind that what if everyone who bought Bitcoins from them suddenly decides to sell them back? Will they be honoring all request? I don’t have any answer to that. So that’s another reason, not to put all eggs in a basket.
What I would prefer…
Though they have made it possible to buy bitcoins using money transfer from your bank account but are very slow to reply to any help request. Therefore, in future, if I am going to buy using credit cards. I would prefer to use coinmama.com and transfer my BTC to my blockchain.info digital coin wallet or Mycelium digital coin wallet. For sure, I would avoid buying from luno.com or such other websites unless they remove restrictions on moving out the purchased Bitcoins from their wallet to other wallets, fully. Though with credit cards I pay some extra fee, I get my Bitcoins right in the wallet of my choice.
Bitcoin Exchanges and Escrow Sites
The second and preferable option is to buy from a trustworthy individual. How to find such a trustworthy individuals? This is a tricky question. There are some sites (or exchanges) like remitano.com, which provide escrow services among buyers and sellers of the cryptocurrencies. However, I have not used these websites and you may use due diligence before using these services.
Bitcoin Hard wallet
Now you can buy a hard wallet or hardware wallet and store your Bitcoin private keys in that wallet. You can connect your Bitcoin hard wallet to a computer through USB cable. You can store your Bitcoin private keys offline and sign transactions using these hard wallets.
I would like to emphasize here that for security and safety to have your due diligence while buying these cryptocurrency hard wallets. Make sure you are buying from the reliable source or supplier. In my opinion, Amazon is the only reliable supplier of these hard wallets at the moment. Some hard wallets are Ledger Nano S, Trezor and Keepkey. I would prefer Trezor. This is because I can use Trezor with Mycelium digital coin wallet installed on my android device as well.
Bitcoins – Is it easy to buy in Malaysia?
Someone asked if it’s easy to buy Bitcoins in Malaysia? I have described this in detail above. You can see that it is easy to buy Bitcoins in Malaysia using credit cards, though fees are relatively high. If you know someone trustworthy willing to their Bitcoins to you at good rates, that would be the best. Otherwise, try and test escrow service exchanges with smaller amounts to start with and with due precautions.
Some escrow exchanges include localbitcoin.com. remitano.com, etc. Xbitasia.com is another exchange which accepts payments transfer from Malaysian bank accounts in the Ringgit Malaysia and use these Ringgits to buy Bitcoins. On many such sites also, I can sell Bitcoins for Ringgit Malaysia and transfer ringgits to my Malaysian bank account.
Last, but not the least, if you ever decide to buy more bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies, you may consider buying a hard wallet for safekeeping of your digital currencies.
Below are the links to some books and hard wallets and other useful stuff