Taiwan: Road to Becoming a ‘Blockchain Island’

Taiwanese Legislator and member of Parliament Jason Hsu is setting up Taiwan's road to becoming the Blockchain Island.

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Taiwanese legislator and member of Parliament Jason Hsu has been working hard to pave the way for Taiwan to become known as a “Blockchain Island” since late last year. He is known as one of the biggest promoters of FinTech in the country.

Hsu has been tirelessly going around and giving talks about FinTech, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology. He’s even been meeting up with influential names in the crypto space to discuss the future of FinTech in Taiwan.

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin had given him the nickname of “Crypto Congressman” and for good reason.

Progress towards the Blockchain Island

In September 2017, Jason Hsu thought to capitalize on the crypto market as China and Korea announced bans on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency exchanges. He saw the bans as an “excellent opportunity” for Taiwan to create its own policies on ICOs.

October 2017 saw Taiwan lawmakers coming into agreement to not have stringent regulations towards cryptocurrencies as its neighboring countries. In a Parliamentary session with the Taiwan Financial Supervisory Commission, Hsu said:

“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.”

 

In December 2017, Hsu made history as the legislature of Taiwan passed the “FinTech Innovation and Experimentation Act”, Taiwan’s regulatory sandbox. The act was made to establish a “mechanism” for FinTech innovations, create a safe environment in which the FinTech industry can flourish, while still “maintaining financial market order” and protecting customer rights.

In January, Hsu announced that the Taiwan Central Bank was studying the possibility of issuing its own cryptocurrency. However, the Central Bank later expressed uncertainty over the whole cryptocurrency issue. Central Bank Governor Yang Chin-long expressed that they “wanted to go in [that] direction [of payments] but cryptocurrencies “turned into commodities” with its highly volatile nature.

Fast forward to April 20, after countless talks, presentations, and meetings both local and overseas, Hsu called for a meeting to create the Taiwan Blockchain Self-Regulatory Organization (TBSRO) to further establish a friendly environment for cryptocurrency and blockchain tech.

He tweeted out his plan a day prior:


Industry Celebrity Advisors

As seen on his Twitter account, Jason Hsu has been meeting up with big names in the crypto industry to discuss the country’s course of action towards crypto.

Vitalik Buterin is a constant on Hsu’s Twitter account as he asked the Ethereum founder to be an advisor to the Taiwan government:

He also had a meeting with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, welcoming the exchange giant to Taiwan:


His most recent meeting was with Tron founder Justin Sun on April 21:


To have a government official go through great extents just to promote FinTech, crypto and blockchain tech in the country is quite rare in these times of strict regulations. If all goes well for Taiwan, the country may be a guide for other countries in the development of their own crypto industries.

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