Close to the heels of Russia where exchanging bitcoin to ruble has been termed illegal and punishable by up to 4 years of imprisonment according to a newly drafted law, Taiwan has now declared bitcoin as an illegal asset. The decision was taken yesterday by country’s Financial Supervisory Commission.
According to Taiwanese media, the Chairman of Financial Supervisory Commission, Tseng Ming-chung announced the status of bitcoin. The decision is said to have been influenced by the recent incident where kidnappers demanded ransom in bitcoin after kidnapping a Hong Kong based business tycoon last month. Even though the logic behind the announcement is weak, the decision seems to have been made by the commission.
If the same logic is applied on a large scale, Taiwan should ban money altogether in the country. After all kidnapping has been a crime for ages now and kidnappers have been demanding fiat currency or other valuables as ransom before bitcoin became popular. It appears like the Chairman of Financial Supervisory Commission jumped the gun here and took a drastic step which might prove detrimental to the growing bitcoin ecosystem in the country.
Mr. Ming-chung made the statement about legality of bitcoin in the country while responding to a question about whether bitcoin can be used in the country. The question was asked during a legislative hearing. He also declared that the commission will be working alongside the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the law enforcement agencies to crack down on illegal acts involving bitcoin.
The recent developments in Taiwan puts bitcoin based businesses like Maicoin and others operating in the region at risk. The particulars of law regarding bitcoin and extent of enforcement is still unknown. With this decision, Taiwan has officially made a place for itself in the list of countries who are hostile towards bitcoin.