On 29th December 2015, I became a proud owner of a bitcoin.
Well, to be exact, I own 1.0516 bitcoins. I’m planning to get some more.
Edit 31 Dec 2015: I now own 3.20 bitcoins yay
Edit 29 Jan 2016: 6.88 btcs 🙂
Btw, my wallet code is 13Pmx3xcZA81RKu11Z4iUnWQph5VyA72f2 (in case any of you want to donate 😉
Interested in my journey in buying Bitcoins in Malaysia and what I found out on the way? Read on..
I’ve been interested in bitcoins for a while. It’s such a fascinating currency. This is not a ‘what is bitcoin’ article, so if you are new to this, I suggest you read my guide for bitcoin newbies – all you need to know to start.
This is what I found out when I first started to get interested in bitcoin. But first, before anything else, you should know that..
Bitcoin is volatile AF
I bought it at about USD420 per bitcoin. It hovered between USD200-300 since January 2015, and was USD300 per bitcoin in November 2015.
This is nothing though. Bitcoin peaked in late 2013 with an astonishing high of USD1100 per bitcoin. Unfortunately, due to the high volatility, it crashed until ~USD200 per bitcoin.
Those who got into Bitcoin really early in the game made some serious money in 2013. Like this man who bought USD27 worth of bitcoins in 2009, forgot about it, and found out its worth USD886,000.
Here’s a historical chart of bitcoin prices against the USD, credit to bitcoincharts.com
In the (safe) investment world, high volatility is a BIG no-no.
But I am making a calculated risk here. I believe that the Bitcoin price will soar again in the next few years. I can be right, or I can be horribly wrong and lose everything. Bitcoin have lost most of their value before (USD1100 into USD200 in a few short months!), but there’s a few reasons why I think it will make a comeback. I’ll write about that in another article.
Anyway, back to the main story – Things I found out during the process of buying Bitcoins in Malaysia
#1 – There’s very few GOOD resources about Bitcoin in Malaysia
I’m listing all I know:
- How to buy bitcoins in Malaysia by CoinGecko (outdated)
- Bitcoin services, news, and community by Bitcoin Malaysia
- Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency discussion in Lowyat Forum
- My bitcoin articles in this website
- Bitcoin Malaysia FB group
Yep, that’s all. I quickly realised that most of the information available online are outdated, due to the fast-paced nature of this currency. Your best bet at up-to-date information is through a community.
Of course, read other resources too. I like CoinDesk, r/Bitcoin, r/BitcoinBeginners and r/btc.
#2 – The community is pretty small, but as traders they’re pretty active
Many people buy and sell from LocalBitcoins Malaysia.
Many people buy from bitcoin exchanges because its safest.
The communities in Telegram, Whatsapp and Facebook is active and growing.
If you’re new to bitcoin and don’t know where to start, please read my guide for bitcoin newbies. Check the comment sections too for additional info.
#3 – The safety aspect is a bit.. lacking
I can’t really find local resources that specifically promote digital security so I wrote the complete guide to bitcoin scams (published in CoinGecko). Bitcoin is internet-based – there are measures in place to keep it secure, but you can never be too careful, because some malware or virus can always steal your details and transfer out all your bitcoin.
On top of the safety list should be ‘DO NOT BUY FROM RANDOM INTERNET STRANGERS’. I’m just highlighting this as Malaysians are apparently susceptible to being scammed. There’s already a couple of forum posts where seller was like, hey dudes I’m selling Bitcoins for cheap, come and get it. Then there’s a buyer who replied, DUDE I transferred my money to you where’s my Bitcoin???
Are you kidding me? What lalaland are you living in, transferring money into strangers accounts just like that? People were scammed out of thousands of ringgits.
-_- Use common sense la.
If you want to buy Bitcoin in MYR, your options are extremely limited
EDIT: There’s a healthier ecosystem now
The bad news is that many bitcoin buy/sell platforms in Malaysia had their Malaysian bank accounts closed down, so options to buy with MYR is limited. CoinHako and CoinBox all used to offer bitcoin buy/sell service.
- Buying with MYR (bank transfer to sellers) – Localbitcoin. Make sure to pick a seller with good track record. (note: referral link)
- Buying with MYR (bank transfer to sellers) – Remitano. Make sure to pick a seller with good track record. (note: referral link)
- Buying with MYR (bank transfer) – Luno (note: referral link; Get RM5 if buy/sell more than RM250) – formerly Bitx
- Buying with MYR (bank transfer) – XbitAsia. I’ve not used this option.
- Buying with MYR (via bitcoin ATM) – Pinkexc Malaysia in Ipoh
- Buying with Paypal – Wirex (note: referral link; get 25% off plastic cards). Get a virtual card (the first one is free), verify account, then transfer money from Paypal into the card to buy bitcoin
- Buying with debit/credit card – Cex.io (note: referral link)
Internationally, there’s actually A LOT of bitcoin exchangers and online wallet service providers out there. Hundreds. But the thing is, most of the international service providers only allow you to buy bitcoins if you do bank transfer to their accounts, based outside of Malaysia. I haven’t tried this, so comment if otherwise, but don’t you have to pay absurd charges if you send your money internationally?
I tried to look for places online where I can buy using credit card, but I haven’t found one that support transaction from Malaysia yet. Ah, the general consensus is that it’s hard to buy bitcoins using credit cards and paypal anyway, so there’s that.
EDIT March 2016. Want to spend bitcoin? Wirex specialises in bitcoin debit card, which what you wanna get to make it easier for you to spend or withdraw your bitcoin when the time comes. As I wrote in my where to spend bitcoin article, there are very few places that accept bitcoin in Malaysia, but millions of shops and ATMs globally will accept the Visa/MasterCard-linked bitcoin debit card. Check out this article for more info – if Wirex can help you solve even one of those problems, you should consider getting one. Disclaimer: I provide work for this company, but I honestly like their products and services.
ProTip: Use my referral link (or click on the image below) to register an account, then install the Wirex app (android, iOS) and get free virtual card (tutorial). This way, you get both free virtual card AND the 25% plastic card discount.
To end this, I have to put a disclaimer: This article is purely my opinion. All investments come with their own risks – I am not responsible or accountable to any losses you make.
As a child of the internet, I have high hopes for this. Anything to add to this list? If you do bitcoin as well, please share your experience via comments, FB, or tweet me at @surayaror 🙂
Need more answers to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies? Read articles below:
- FAQ: Everything You Should Know about Bitcoin in Malaysia, as a Newbie
- FAQ: How to Invest in Cryptocurrencies in Malaysia (Aside from Bitcoin)