Business

Paul How

Taiwan moves versus anonymous crypto transactions

Taiwanese legislators have amended the country’s financial laws in order for cryptocurrency transactions to be covered by the same anti-money laundering (AML) restrictions as fiat currencies.

News outlet Focus Taiwan said the changes to the country’s AML and terrorism financing prevention laws will now be applicable to cryptocurrencies. State regulator the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) will have authority to make cryptocurrency exchanges and other trading platforms require users to provide their real names. If cryptocurrency-related companies are unable to obtain such information in servicing their clients, banks could refuse to deal with them, and even report them in the event that such transactions appear suspicious.

News.Bitcoin.com noted that noncompliance with the new measure by nonfinancial firms will result in a fine of from CNY50,000 ($7,300) to not more than CNY1 million ($145,000). Noncompliant financial institutions, on the other hand, will be meted a penalty of from CNY500,000 ($73,000) to not more than CNY10 million ($1.45 million).

The Ministry of Justice was reported by Focus Taiwan as saying that previous amendments in 2016 had been insufficient in preventing financial crimes, thus requiring the recent legislation, which is expected to raise the country’s standing when it is evaluated by intergovernmental organization the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) this month.

The ministry also said Taiwan would now be more in conformity with international standards versus money laundering.

A representative from cryptocurrency exchange BitoEX was cited by News.Bitcoin.com as saying the company’s requirement to provide real names had only been applicable to transactions involving fiat. Cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency transactions, however, have been possible without providing one’s real name.

FSC Chairman Wellington Koo has said that his agency was in the process of drafting guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICOs), with the aim of simplifying the offering process, and to enhance the liquidity of tokens. The FSC reportedly intends to implement the new ICO regulations by June 2019.

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