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Taiwan Tightens AML Legislation to Remove Crypto Anonymity

Taiwan has amended its AML legislation to incorporate cryptocurrency transactions into state law.

Pro crypto congressman Jason Hsu proposed the amendment to the country’s Money Laundering Control Act last month in a bid to make cryptocurrencies face the same legal recourse as traditional financial instruments, in addition to several added rules specific to cryptocurrency. Hsu’s hope was that by providing a solid legal framework, investors will be encouraged into the market, while the new regulations could help inform citizens on the emerging technology.

Now that the new law has been passed, Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) can place the onus on exchanges to conduct their own vetting and verification processes, which will now require users to use their own names and not hide behind an alias. This means that banks could now put pressure on exchanges for not observing AML and KYC guidelines.

Cryptocurrency exchanges can now expect to receive fines for non-compliance to accompany the new rules. Non- financial institutions can expect fines from between USD 7,300 and USD 145,000, while financial institutions will receive much more significant penalties for non-compliance from between USD 73,000 and USD 1.45 million.

The FSC had amended the original AML legislation in 2016 but it is thought that the changes had made no significant impact on financial crime. The Ministry of Justice sees the new rules as far more in keeping with international standards.

In response, a spokesperson from cryptocurrency exchange BitoEX said the anonymity was only relevant in cases of cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency transactions. Any transactions involving fiat had always required the user’s full details and correct name.

Earlier this year, banks in Taiwan ordered the FSC to identify bank accounts offered to Bitcoin trading platforms as “high-risk clients”, requiring transactions through the accounts above a certain threshold to be flagged to the regulator.

The FSC has revealed that it also intends to implement new ICO regulations by June 2019.

 

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Taiwan Congressman Proposes Extension of AML Laws to Include Crypto

A lawmaker in Taiwan hopes to change local regulations in order to cover cryptocurrencies under the existing anti-money laundering (AML) framework.

A press release shared with Coindesk news shows that Taiwan’s colloquially know ”crypto congressman” Jason Hsu has proposed an amendment to the country’s Money Laundering Control Act that would make cryptocurrencies face the same legal recourse as traditional financial instruments, in addition to several added rules specific to cryptocurrency.

His policy proposal would streamline Taiwan’s laws with the EU’s own Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Should the law pass, the onus would be on local cryptocurrency exchanges to prevent money laundering from taking place on their platforms. On the part of cryptocurrency exchanges, they will be required to keep transaction records and report anything suspicious to officials in order to maintain this new degree of responsibility.

”All those involved should have the responsibilities to take care of this budding ecosystem,” Hsu is quoted in the press release, Coindesk reports.

Rather than pushing an anti-crypto narrative, however, Hsu hopes that by providing a solid legal framework, investors will be encouraged into the market, while the new regulations could help inform citizens on the emerging technology. He has said it is an effort to support the development of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, rather than stifle their innovations.

However, Hsu sees a limit to the degree of government control there should be over the industry, and supports self-regulation to a certain extent.

Blockchain banking

Earlier this year, Taipei bank Fubon Commercial became the first of its kind in Taiwan to introduce a blockchain based payment system.

The new system is being used for restaurants and merchants serving the National Chengchi University, with Fubon Commercial saying transaction times may be cut to less than a second.

Taipei has plans to become a ”smart city” and blockchain is looking to be a key fixture in this move.

 

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