Taiwan amends anti-money laundering act to include cryptocurrencies

Taipei, TAIWAN – The Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s highest legislative body, has passed amendments to existing laws to regulate transactions of digital currencies to curb online financial crimes.

The amendments made to the Money Laundering Control Act and the Terrorism Financing Prevention Act reportedly gives Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) “the authority to crack down on anonymous virtual currency transactions.” Also worth noting:

“The FSC can now demand that operators of virtual currency platforms, including bitcoin, implement ‘real-name systems’ that require users to register their real names.”

Failure to comply can result in banks rejecting anonymous crypto transactions and face an obligation to report these transactions to the FSC. Focus Taiwan reports that users who fail to abide the amendments also face the possibility of a fine.

Non-financial enterprises which violate the anti-money laundering provisions will receive a fine between 50,000 yuan (US$7,256) and 1 million yuan (US$142,000). The charges faced by financial institutions, however, reside between 500,000 yuan (US$72,290) and a staggering 10 million yuan (US$1,445,800).

The amendments are aligned with what Taiwan’s Minister of Justice’s has said previously. In April, Minister of Justice Qiu Taisan announced at a conference dedicated to money laundering prevention that Taiwan intends to develop a legislative framework for cryptocurrencies by November. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice has also weighed in on the news:

“A compliance culture and mindset is an important part of effectively fighting money laundering, and that culture and mindset can only be fostered through good habits and practices in the operations of local companies and institutions.”

According to Focus Taiwan, the MOJ believes the amendments align Taiwan with international standards and also created a more comprehensive and dynamic anti-money laundering system.