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Taiwan is Preparing ICO Regulations, Securities Regulator Chairman Reveals

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:03 PM
Mark Emem
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:03 PM

Investing in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in Taiwan could soon be as easy as putting money in stocks.

This is according to the chairman of Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), Wellington Koo, who has said that regulations for governing ICOs are currently being drafted with a view of simplifying the process for investors as well as making tokens just as liquid as stocks.

Speaking during a finance committee meeting of the country’s legislature, Koo also revealed that the draft copy of the regulations will be ready by mid next year, according to the Taipei Times. This was after a legislator, William Tseng, asked whether the Taiwanese government was planning on regulating ICOs.

Alarming Levels of Fraud

Tseng was prompted by a report that was released earlier in the year by Satis Group, an ICO advisory firm, which claimed that 81% of ICOs had turned out to be scams.

The planned ICO regulations will, however, not apply to all tokens. Notably, the Financial Supervisory Commission will spare utility tokens as it has no intention of regulating them.

“…tokens exchanged for goods, such as those used in accruing points at convenience stores or mileage points accepted by airlines, would not be covered by the standards,” wrote the Taipei Times.

According to Koo, this is to prevent enacting legislation that would discourage innovation in the nascent sector.

“The commission has no intention of curbing the creativity and productivity associated with cryptocurrencies if they are not used as securities,” said Koo.

Pro-Crypto Stance

During his tenure as the chairman of the FSC, Koo has mostly been supportive of the cryptocurrency sector. A year ago, for instance, the FSC chairman told the Taiwanese parliament that he would not place outright bans on crypto-related activity in the country like had been the case in other countries in the region such as China and South Korea. At the time Koo indicated that he preferred having an enabling environment that would boost the development and adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in Taiwan.

As CCN.com reported then, Koo’s position was similar to that of Taiwanese legislator Jason Hsu, who had called on the government to follow a different path to that of China and South Korea.

“Just because China and South Korea are banning, doesn’t mean that Taiwan should follow suit – there is a huge opportunity for growth in the future. We should emulate Japan, where they treat cryptocurrency as a highly regulated, highly monitored industry like securities,” a Taiwanese publication quoted Hsu as saying at the time.

Featured image from Shutterstock.