The Taiwanese government has amended its laws that regulate cryptocurrency transactions. The revisions reportedly give the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission “the authority to crack down on anonymous virtual currency transactions.”
The Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s highest legislative body, on Friday passed some amendments to existing laws aimed at regulating cryptocurrency transactions in the country, Focus Taiwan reported. The publication wrote:
The amendments to the Money Laundering Control Act and the Terrorism Financing Prevention Act give Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) the authority to crack down on anonymous virtual currency transactions.
In particular, “The FSC can now demand that operators of virtual currency platforms, including bitcoin, implement ‘real-name systems’ that require users to register their real names, according to the new provisions,” the news outlet detailed. Banks can now reject crypto exchanges’ transactions that are anonymous; they also have an obligation to report any suspicious transactions to the FSC, the publication added.
According to the amended provisions, non-financial enterprises that violate money laundering rules will be fined more than 50,000 yuan ($7,256) but less than 1 million yuan. In contrast, financial institutions in violation of the rules will be fined more than 500,000 yuan but less than 10 million yuan, Ettoday reported.
Taiwan’s Real-Name System
Bitoex, a crypto exchange which claims to have 80 percent market share in Taiwan and 300,000 members, told news.Bitcoin.com that the exchange “has implemented the real-name system as of July 2018.”
In addition, its international exchange, Bitopro, which launched early this year “also follows the real-name system when it involves fiat money deposits and withdrawals,” a representative of Bitoex elaborated, clarifying:
Identities and bank verifications are required before purchasing BTC or other cryptocurrencies with New Taiwanese dollars (NTD).
However, the representative noted that “Trading cryptocurrencies could be operated anonymously” if no fiat currency is involved. “For only cryptocurrency transactions such as receiving/transmitting or selling/trading cryptocurrencies, it is not mandatory to submit personal information to the real-name system.”
Bitoex offers three account levels. Level C requires only an email and a phone number to open an account. Level B needs an ID card, a passport, or a foreign resident card for verification. Level A requires personal bank account information.
The exchange also sells BTC at Family Mart convenience stores. Currently, there are 3,296 locations in Taiwan, according to the chain’s website.
The Bitoex representative explained to news.Bitcoin.com that purchasing BTC at convenience stores requires Level B, real-name verification, emphasizing that “it is not exempt from the real-name system.” The exchange noted:
The real-name system will be enforced when it comes to fiat money deposits and withdrawals.
South Korea is using a similar real-name system implemented in January. However, the country’s financial watchdog does not have the authority to enforce the real-name system on crypto exchanges, therefore adoption has been slow. Furthermore, a Korean district court recently ruled that banks cannot block transactions of crypto exchanges that are not using the real-name system.
Taiwan is also drafting regulations for initial coin offerings (ICOs). FSC chairman Wellington Koo recently revealed that the guidelines are expected to be completed by June next year.
What do you think of Taiwan implementing the real-name system? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia, and Bitoex.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.