Taiwanese Regulators Now Take a Refrained Approach to Bitcoin

Samburaj Das @sambdas
November 18, 2015

Following recent reports wherein the Taiwanese Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman deemed Bitcoin deemed bitcoin illegal, the FSC and the country’s central bank now vide the cryptocurrency as a commodity. The two authorities will also step back from trying to manage bitcoin transactions. The stance is certain to be met with relief among Taiwanese bitcoin adopters.

FSC Chairman, Tseng Ming-Chung

The chairman of the Taiwan’s FSC, Tseng Ming-Chung has today confirmed that the regulator and Taiwan’s central bank now see Bitcoin as a commodity while noting that the two agencies will refrain from trying to regulate or manage bitcoin adoption in the country.

As reported by Focus Taiwan, a national news agency, the FSC and Taiwan’s central bank have reached a common consensus in the new approach (or lack thereof) to Bitcoin. However, the two authorities have also deemed bitcoin as a commodity instead of a currency.

With this in mind, Ming-Chung reportedly added that the FSC will ‘demand’ local banks to deny bitcoins for payments or third-party receipts.

Taiwan has seen a major mainstream adoption of the cryptocurrency wherein bitcoins could be bought at thousands of convenience stores, leaving over 20 million Taiwanese with easy access and means to buy bitcoin.

The latest comments come after recent reports earlier this month wherein Ming-Chung reportedly deemed any usage of bitcoin to be illegal. The declaration was made following a high-profile kidnapping of a Hong Kong billionaire where the captors demanded ransom in Bitcoin.

Ming-Chung was addressing the press during a hearing of the Legislature’s financial committee, according to the publication.

Mainstream Adoption Shows What People Want

The new ‘hands-off’ stance was revealed in comments made after the chairman was asked about a partnership struck between BitoEX, a Taiwanese bitcoin wallet and FamilyMart Co., Taiwan’s second-largest chain of convenience stores. BitoEx has steadily built partnerships with a majority of the country’s leading convenience store chains, a move that has helped with the mainstream adoption of bitcoin among the Taiwanese population.

The newest partnership involves the means to transform bitcoins from a virtual wallet into coupons. Coupons that can then be used across thousands of convenience stores across the country.

Ming-Chung has been openly critical of bitcoin in the past, claiming “bitcoin holders are on their own” and that it would be “impossible for a bitcoin ATM to come to or appear in Taiwan.” This did not stop local bitcoin enthusiasts within the country to ignore the Chairman’s statement while installing a bitcoin ATM in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.

Samburaj Das @sambdas

Samburaj is the Editor for CCN, among the earliest and foremost publications covering financial and blockchain news. He has authored over 2,000 articles for CCN. Email him samburaj(@)ccn.com or find him barely tweeting @sambdas