Malaysia is looking at Blockchain technology in a big way with the formation of a National Task Force soon, said Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau (pix).
The Minister said the Task Force, to be led by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), will develop the policy, framework, strategy and implementation plans for Blockchain in both the Government and the non-government sectors.
“Key government departments and agencies as well as several non-government organisations will be participating in the Task Force,” Wilfred said at the launch of a forum on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies, held here, last week.
The forum was jointly organised by MOSTI and its agencies namely the Department of Standards Malaysia (Standards Malaysia) and MIMOS.
Present were Director-General of Standards Malaysia, Datuk Fadilah Baharin and Chief Executive Officer of MIMOS, Ahmad Rizan Ibrahim. The forum was held in conjunction with the five-day National Innovation and Creative Economy (NICE) Expo 2017 organised by MOSTI.
Blockchain is an emerging technology that provides a method to make electronic payments without needing any financial institution such as banks or electronic payment agency. A blockchain is a “distributed ledger”, which is a digital record that is shared and synchronised across multiple networks of web addresses, institutions or geographies thereby making value transactions more secure as a cyberattack becomes more difficult.
Wilfred said that to understand the impact of adopting Blockchain, MOSTI as the lead agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) was following closely on its development.
“In the context of standards, the development of international standards is critical not only to ensure smooth transactions but also to protect consumers, as challenges do exist on the side of the governing authorities,” he said.
“MOSTI supports Malaysia’s involvement as an ISO member country through Standards Malaysia, to ensure that the country is not left behind in the Blockchain race. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution wave already reaching the country, the emergence of blockchain and distributed ledgers technology is apt and timely to support the needs for digital information management and protection,” he said.
“The advent of Blockchain cannot be viewed lightly as its impact to the nation’s economy, social and technology is great,” he added.
At the national level, Fadilah said that Standards Malaysia had established a technical committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers to provide focus on the development of relevant standards for the nation.
“The technical committee is also the national mirror committee to the ISO technical committee for Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers at the international level. This will provide Malaysia with first-hand information on the international development and directives that will assist the national committee to develop standards that are aligned to international practices,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Rizan said that with Blockchain, there will be opportunities and there will also be pitfalls. “Our job at MIMOS is to investigate both. With millions of potential players and users around the world, the technology can create great value, at the same time it can also create chaos. Standards for Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies will build confidence and a sense of control in areas such as privacy, security, governance, identity and other risk-related issue.”