Taiwan’s Vice Premier has called for measures to manage the impact of the cryptocurrency sector on the nation’s financial environment.
An official government report reveals details of a speech from Taiwan’s vice president of the executive branch of government Shih Jun-ji, speaking at a financial seminar on Friday when he touched upon the topic of cryptocurrencies and their possible impact on the island nation’s financial environment.
The official called on the government to introduce measures to manage the cryptocurrency sector after underlining the soaring gains and development of cryptocurrencies in recent years.
Shih was speaking at the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance when he elaborated on bitcoin, specifically, noting its market capitalization of $160 billion dollars (with bitcoin price pegged at $10,000) would be more than twice the entire financial budget of Taiwan’s government. Having done his homework, the official also added that the valuation of bitcoin, at $160 billion, would be equal to the total assets of all Taiwanese banks and onone-thirdf the country’s foreign exchange reserve. Put simply, the impact of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should not be underestimated, Shih said.
The official went on to highlight claims of the cryptocurrency being in the midst of a ‘bubble’. However, the soaring price gains of 2017 may not necessarily constitute a bubble of the ‘asset’ that is bitcoin, Shih added.
Pointing to regulatory moves overseeing the cryptocurrency industry in Japan and the United States among other countries in Europe, the Vice Premier ultimately stressed the importance of proactively planning policies to “safeguard the financial environment” of Taiwan.
The official’s remarks for caution, while not specifically hostile against the cryptocurrency sector, is in contrast to those offered by Taiwan’s financial regulator who have taken a more embracive approach to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Speaking in a joint session attended by members of Parliament and the country’s cabinet in October, Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission chairman Wellington Koo ruled out an outright ban – ala China and to a certain extent South Korea – of crypto-related activity to instead foster the development and adoption of botch cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in Taiwan.
Jiufen town, Taiwan image from Shutterstock.