Taiwan To Introduce Cryptocurrency Regulations To Curb Money Laundering

  • Taiwan is set to introduce regulations on cryptocurrencies by November 2018.
  • Tteir goal will seemingly be to curb money laundering, and not to clampdown on the industry.

Taiwan’s government is set to introduce a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies later this year. The move is set to prevent money laundering, and won’t seemingly be the start of a clampdown, according to local news outlet Asia Times.

Qiu Taisan, the country’s Justice Minister, called for the regulations to be in place by November this year, before the Asia Pacific Group on anti-money laundering visits Taiwan to evaluate its existing anti-money laundering (AML) rules.

According to reports, Taiwan’s central bank, the Ministry of Interior, and its Bureau of Investigation are set to determine how cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are going to be regulated in the country.

Gu Lixiong, chairman of Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory and Management Commission, revealed that as part of the country’s AML framework, banks have been told to label bitcoin-related accounts as “high-risk clients” by the Financial Services Coalition (FSC). According to the Asia Times, financial institutions in the country were asked to warn their customers about the potential risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.

Former FSC chairman Wellington Koo was notably opposed to harsh measures against cryptocurrencies, as he believed these would hurt the industry in the country. He was quoted as saying:

“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. We should emulate Japan, where they treat cryptocurrency as a highly regulated, highly monitored industry like securities.”

Wellington Koo

What will come of Taiwan’s regulations is unclear. While countries like Japan and Singapore are Asian hubs for cryptocurrency startups, countries like China, India, and recently Thailand haven’t been exactly crypto friendly.

As covered, Thailand’s Finance Ministry recently revealed cryptocurrency investments will be taxed with a 7 percent value added tax (VAT), while returns will be hit with a 15 percent capital gains tax. The country’s cryptocurrency enthusiasts called for the government to review its approach, but their attempt seemingly failed.