In October of 2017, Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) moved to express its support for the mainstream adoption of Initial Coin Offerings, cryptocurrency, and Blockchain-powered solutions – and now the country’s new central banker, Yang Chin-long, has announced his bid to leverage blockchain technology to improve the security of the country’s electronic payment system.
Outlined in a brief inauguration speech, Yang outlined that his agency would seek to remain open-minded to the development of new financial technologies including distributed ledger technology.
Yang elaborated that emerging technology – despite not having a material impact at present – would shape Taiwan’s currency policy and its payments industry in the near future.
A warm welcome for blockchain
Despite the fact that Taiwanese government has remained open to the ecosystem created by cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, Yang’s comments mark the first occasion in which the island nation’s central bank has announced its interest in leveraging blockchain technology.
Previously, Wellington Koo – Taiwanese Financial Supervisory Commission Chair – announced that there would be no outright prohibition on cryptocurrency nor cryptocurrency-related activities within the country, and that Taiwanese government would be prepared to support entrepreneurs and innovators exploring Blockchain-powered solutions and digital currencies.
Taiwan’s wider pivot to blockchain technology comes in the face of China’s bullish approaches to cryptocurrency markets. Congressman Jason Hsu of Taiwan’s Nationalist Party previously has offered that “…just because China and South Korea are banning[ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges], 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 move to blockchain technology has already been trialed by a consortium of Taiwanese financial institutions which, in 2016, formed to develop new consumer-facing payment platforms that would be powered by Microsoft’s Azure blockchain-as-a-service initiative.
The effort was moderated under a sandbox regulatory initiative which was overseen by Taiwanese financial regulators.
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