Taiwanese regulators are coming under pressure from MPs who want them to ready crypto regulation. Regulators admitted that there is currently no official body in the country that has policing power over firms offering the sale and purchase of cryptoassets. But those fearing a Mainland China-type crackdown will be able to rest easy after regulators hinted they prefer a more business-friendly approach.
Per the China Times, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Huang Tien-mu has met with “major ministries” and government organs including the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, and the National Development Council in a preliminary bid to lay the groundwork for “the management” of cryptoassets in Taiwan.
Regulators and the government were grilled on the matter by lawmakers on a finance-related committee. One MP asked the FSC and the justice ministry how it planned to deal with crypto-related money-laundering risks and legal compliance-related matters.
Huang conceded that under current legislation, the FSC only has power over firms offering security token offerings (STOs), and can only intervene in the sector to prevent suspected instances of money laundering.
Huang was also quoted as responding that two crypto exchanges that deal with STO-type offerings had applied for trading permits, and that the FSC’s response would be forthcoming before the end of the month.
A further six exchanges, lawmakers insisted, should be hit with legal action if they failed to apply for trading permits.
Another MP stated that the prices of tokens such as bitcoin (BTC) and dogecoin (DOGE) were highly volatile and could be “manipulated” by “major powers.” As such, the MP concluded, such tokens were “not suitable for sale in Taiwan” and “should be controlled.”
Huang responded by hinting that as international governments were taking a “wait-and-see” approach to crypto market supervision, Taiwan might be better off following suit.
However, the FSC chief added that as crypto does not classify as a “financial asset,” but as a “general commodity,” the regulator could not currently exercise any power over tokens – nor could any other entity in Taiwan.
“It is correct that there is no specific [regulatory] authority that has authority over virtual currencies in Taiwan.”