Taiwan Banking Chief Wants Anti-money Laundering Laws Enacted for Bitcoin
The Governor of the Central Bank of Taiwan, Yang Chin-long, has called for anti-money laundering (AML) laws to be put in place for bitcoin transactions. The regulatory move comes as the country is in the process of developing a legislative framework that will create an enabling environment for the crypto market within the island nation.
The country has tried to maintain a neutral stance on the cryptocurrency market for a number of years, in contrast to the drastic and severe measures taken by China. It now appears that the country, despite not wanting to stifle the growing market is looking to protect investors and the economy in a similar fashion to other Asian countries like Japan, Malaysia, and South Korea.
Crypto Regulation is Top of Taiwan’s Agenda
According to the Central News Agency of Taiwan, the central bank governor speaking during a meeting of the country’s legislative Finance Committee on Monday, April 2, 2018, called for bitcoin transactions to fall under the purview of the country’s AML laws.
The central bank governor noted that the opacity of the current bitcoin regulatory framework makes it necessary for such measures in order to prevent the crypto from being used as a vehicle for money laundering and other illicit financial activities. He reiterated the apex bank’s commitment to continually remind investors and other stakeholders of the inherent risks in the bitcoin market.
Yang Chin-long took office in February 2018 and is a big proponent of blockchain technology as echoed by sentiments expressed during his acceptance speech. During his address to the legislators, he stated that the central bank would continue to monitor the volatility of the bitcoin market.
While no resolution is yet to be taken with regard to the calls made by the central bank governor but this development is another pointer to the fact that adequate crypto regulations are top of Taiwan’s agenda.
On Bitcoin Mining
During the session, Wu Bing-rui, a member of the country’s legislature quizzed the central bank governor about bitcoin mining. The Democratic Progressive Party legislator asked the apex bank chief if the country needed to pay attention to bitcoin mining activities. This comes as the cost of bitcoin mining in Taiwan is one of the cheapest in the world due to the availability of cheap electricity.
Yang Chin-long responded that the majority of the country’s bitcoin mining activities is based in mainland China. Having said this, the bank chief nevertheless stated that it was important for the country to pay attention to bitcoin mining as its effect on energy consumption.
Elsewhere in the world, bitcoin mining is becoming a significant consumer of electricity. The influx of miners into countries like Iceland with vast amounts of hydrothermal potential has caused massive spikes in electricity consumption in these countries.
BTCManager has previously reported that bitcoin mining operations consume more electricity than domestic households in Iceland. In response to this situation, some cities and countries have begun to charge higher electricity premiums for bitcoin mining facilities.