Taiwan Announces Government-approved Crypto Association

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  • A coalition of 24 Taiwanese cryptocurrency firms has formed the Taiwan Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) Association
  • The VASP Association has prioritized creating self-regulatory guidelines to align with government expectations and protect consumer rights
  • Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice has proposed AML regulation amendments, potentially imposing penalties for non-compliance

A coalition of 24 cryptocurrency companies in Taiwan has formed the Taiwan Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) Association, aiming to develop self-regulatory standards for the digital asset industry. This initiative is a significant step towards enhancing the regulation and oversight of the rapidly growing sector. The association was unveiled yesterday following guidance from the country’s Ministry of Justice over virtual asset service providers.

Group Will Help Combat Criminal Activities

The formation of the VASP Association is the result of a proposal by Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice to amend the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations for virtual asset service providers. These amendments could impose penalties of up to two years in prison or fines up to $1.5 million for non-compliance. BitoPro founder and CEO Titan Cheng will serve as chair, with XREX chief revenue officer Winston Hsiao taking up the position of vice chair.

According to a statement by the association, the VASP Association’s mission is to promote rigorous and fair regulations that will support the global growth of blockchain finance, stating, “We will cooperate with the government, the Ministry of Justice, and law enforcement agencies to jointly combat fraud and other criminal activities.”

The statement adds that the group will “contribute technology, industrial knowledge, and infrastructure to establish an industrial joint defense platform and design international transfer rules that meet Taiwan’s needs.”

Self-regulatory Guidelines Are First Step

Hsiho Huang, a director at Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), emphasized the association’s role in fostering compliance and standardization within the industry:

The establishment of the association will bring more cooperation and consensus to the industry, promote compliance, standardization and healthy development of the industry, ensure the safety, transparency and stability of the industry, and enhance the protection of consumer rights.

The VASP Association’s immediate priority is to formulate self-regulatory guidelines, ensuring that the classification and grading management of VASPs aligns with both industry interests and government expectations. This move is seen as crucial for the healthy development of Taiwan’s crypto sector, which has been under the FSC’s AML regulations since July 2021.

By uniting under the VASP Association, Taiwan’s crypto firms are taking proactive steps to create a safer and more transparent industry, ultimately aiming to protect consumer rights and foster innovation in blockchain finance.