In the era of the digital revolution, the only constant is change.
Where once we had a personal computer in every household, now we have a smartphone in each of our hands. Where once the Internet was a wilderness explored under the cloak of anonymity and avatars, social networking has made it fashionable – if not necessary – for people to curate and circulate their public profiles for the world to behold.
Where once we could only store our data in centralised systems, we are now able to store them on a distributed ledger system controlled by no-one – colloquially known as “blockchain”.
The paradigm shift is truly ground-breaking. Blockchain has evolved beyond cryptocurrencies. It has the potential to not only enhance the security of our private communications and transactions, but also our public records to prevent tampering and fraud.
As a developing technological hub, Malaysia should invest in the blockchain space whilst it is still nascent. Aside from financial and technical resources, the government should cultivate a dynamic regulatory framework for blockchain applications to flourish.
And that is why we believe that this Report is timely. The prospects of blockchains’ use in a variety of fields is astounding. Likewise, the legal challenges relating to blockchain technology are multi dimensional. Whilst this Report does not purport to have all the answers, it is our hope that we have at least provided a bird’s-eye view of the Malaysian legal landscape. May this Report also serve as the basic building blocks for legal reform.
That said, we are mindful that the future of blockchain is uncertain. There is much to explore in this new frontier – technically and legally. The way forward may diverge into paths unknown and unexpected. But come what may, we remain committed in staying abreast – if not ahead – of the blockchain curve.
Nur Husna Zakaria, Dr Sherin Kunhibava, Dr Md. Ershadul Karim, Professor Abu Bakar Munir, Raphael Kok