Sabah land deal secured in bitcoin

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PETALING JAYA (Jan 9): A Sabahan businessman had secured the sale of a 1.22ha piece of land on Libaran Island for half a bitcoin, in a transaction that is likely the first of its kind in Malaysia.

Tourism entrepreneur Alexander Yee had agreed to sell the parcel to his friend Polycarp Chin for half a bitcoin (worth roughly RM38,000 at the time of the agreement), who placed a 10% deposit on the land worth 0.05 Bitcoin (RM3,883.25), reported The Star today.

“It’s a new way of transferring money,” said Yee at the signing ceremony of the sale and purchase agreement, which entailed Chin making the payment via his Luno wallet directly into Yee’s wallet.

Following the signing ceremony — which was witnessed by a third party — the sale and purchase agreement will be sent to a lawyer for certification before an application to transfer the land ownership is made at the Sandakan land office.

Once the transfer is done, the remaining 0.45 bitcoin will be paid.

“I do not see a problem as we have a value of the land in ringgit and necessary stamp duty fees would be paid based on the value stated,” said Yee.

The deal possibly heralds a new level of acceptance for the cryptocurrency in Malaysia.

The entrepreneur — who is a resort operator, turtle conservationist and owner of the sustainability-themed Rumah Terbalik (Upside Down House) in Kampung Bantayan-Telibong, just outside of Kota Kinabalu — said Chin decided to buy the land as he wanted to get involved in turtle conservation.

They note while Bank Negara Malaysia has not drawn up clear guidelines on cryptocurrencies, neither has it banned outright trading of such currencies.