Taiwan will not regulate against initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, as opposed to the stance taken by the likes of China and South Korea.
Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission chairman Wellington Koo has told a joint session of the parliament and the cabinet today that Taiwan will not follow the paths of China and South Korea in an outright ban on cryptocurrency. Instead, the head of Taiwan’s financial regulator pledged to keep an open space for development and adoption of both cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in the country.
As reported by The News Lens, Koo expressed the official stance on October 6 following a request by legislator Jason Hsu, a congressman from Taiwan’s Nationalist party which has long adopted a deregulatory stance.
Hsu stated that Taiwan shouldn’t blindly follow China and South Korea examples, as there was 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,” he said.
Koo’s statements are to be followed by a successful passing of the “Financial Technology Innovation Experimentation Act’, in the same parliamentary session. If the bill passes, the legislation will effectively establish a deregulated space for cryptocurrency and blockchain startups.
A month ago, China’s central bank announced a blanket ban on all ICOs, deeming them to be an illegal method of fundraising. This is leading to bitcoin exchanges shutting down en masse in mainland China. A week ago, South Korea followed in China’s footsteps and banned ICOs regionally. Japan, on the other hand, moved to follow legislation that acknowledged bitcoin as a legal method of payment from April this year. Japan’s major players in the financial industry are eyeing bitcoin mining with a goal of generating new revenue. They also hope to help set the ground rules for using bitcoin, according to Nikkei. In early September Japan’s GMO and DMM.com said they were moving into the mining space. Both companies have started crypto and bitcoin exchanges.
In the West, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein tweeted on October 3 that his firm is examining the possibility of establishing a cryptocurrency exchange. Other global investment banks are looking into facilitating trades of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to industry consultants. Bitcoin has surged more than 300 percent this year, drawing the attention of hedge funds and wealthy individuals, with banks weighing in and trying to get their foot in the door.