Taiwan Amends Financial Laws to Fasten Grip on Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Cryptocurrency transactions are getting a policy makeover in Taiwan after the country’s top financial watchdog agreed to curb illegal transfers and crackdown on those in violation of the law.

Taiwan’s Crackdown

As reported by Asia Times on Nov. 5, Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has received full authority to exercise power on virtual currency transactions. Last week, the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s highest legal authority, passed amendments to existing laws governing crypto-payments.

Two amendments made to the Terrorism Financing Prevention Act and Money Laundering Control Act mean the FSC can now demand virtual currency exchanges to conduct business in a strict, highly regulated environment that follows thorough Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.

Taiwanese crypto-exchanges will necessarily require customers to submit their “real names” before accessing the platform, while banks can refuse exchange transactions that are deemed “anonymous,” or which cannot be tracked easily. Moreover, financial institutions have an “obligation” to report any illicit or suspicious transactions to the FSC.

Crypto enterprises found in violation of the amended provisions will be fined an amount greater than 50,000 yuan (~$7,256) but less than one million yuan (~144,000). Interestingly, any financial institution found breaking the rules will be fined upwards of 500,000 yuan (~$72,256) but less than ten million yuan (~$1,440,000)

Taiwan’s move is similar to Japan’s curb on anonymous cryptocurrency transactions. Earlier this year, the latter introduced regulations, screening processes, and KYC norms to ensure a safe trading environment in the crypto-frenzied country. Enterprises need to answer at least 400 questions, prove risk-management practices, and conduct third-party internal audits before being allowed to operate in the country.

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