Taiwan’s legislature has passed amendments to existing anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorism financing (CFT) laws to place new requirements on crypto exchanges. The development was reported by FocusTaiwan, the English language news website of Taiwan's national news agency, on Nov. 2.
Under the new changes to Taiwan’s Money Laundering Control Act and Terrorism Financing Prevention Act, the Legislative Yuan — the Taiwan-based unicameral legislature of the Republic of China — has given Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) the authority to bar anonymous crypto transactions.
The FSC can now demand that exchange operators require their customers to register using real-names: if they fail to do so, banks can block anonymous transactions and report them to the watchdog if they deem them to be suspicious.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has said that the changes align the country more closely with international AML standards, and that the ensuring “good” AML and CFT practices will help to foster a “compliance culture and mindset” among local businesses and institutions.
The ministry further remarked that earlier amendments to the country’s Money Laundering Control Act had “not “fully prevented related financial crimes,” and that the latest action from the Legislative Yuan is expected to better Taiwan’s performance in its upcoming assessment by Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), due to take place Nov. 5-16.
Last month, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international organization that develops policies and AML standards, implemented changes to its AML and CFT standards for firms involved in crypto-related activities, such as exchanges and providers of financial services for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
Taiwan has previously announced plans to release release draft Initial Coin Offering (ICO) regulation by June 2019, with the FSC chairman telling the Legislative Yuan on Oct. 22 that “the more we regulate, the more this new economic behavior wanes.”