Taiwan’s regulator not to clamp down on crypto-related activities

Maria Nikolova

The development of DLT and blockchain is seen as a a huge opportunity for innovation and economic growth for Taiwan.

Taiwan is set to take a rather soft stance regarding cryptocurrencies, as well as the technologies associated with them, according to Financial Supervisory Commission chairman Wellington Koo.

Mr Koo, quoted by The News Lens, was responding to a request for clarification on Taiwan’s stance on crypto from Kuomintang Party (KMT) congressman Jason Hsu in a joint session of parliament and cabinet. Mr Koo said Taiwan would not regulate against the distributed ledger technology. He also agreed with Hsu’s suggestion that development of distributed ledger and blockchain offers an opportunity for innovation and economic growth for Taiwan.

The statement indicates that Taiwan will not follow in the footsteps of China and South Korea by implementing an outright ban on crypto-related activities, such as initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The statement also paves the way for the successful passing of the “Financial Technology Innovation Experimentation Act” later in the current parliamentary session, according to Hsu.

“Just because China and South Korea are banning, doesn’t mean that Taiwan should follow suit – there is a huge opportunity for growth in the future,” Hsu was quoted as saying. “We should emulate Japan, where they treat cryptocurrency as a highly regulated, highly monitored industry like securities.”

Singapore, which has warned of the risks associated with ICOs, has nevertheless taken a softer stance with regard to cryptocurrencies. Last week, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), clarified the official stance on cryptocurrencies by saying that “MAS does not and cannot regulate all products that people put their money in thinking that they will appreciate in value”. MAS has been monitoring the use of such virtual currencies, he said. Their use, he noted, is not prevalent in Singapore when compared to markets like Japan.

Alike most jurisdictions, MAS does not regulate such virtual currencies per se, the top government official explained. However, he added that the activities that surround them if those activities fall within MAS’s more general ambit as financial regulator, are regulated.

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