Major Taiwanese Telecom Company Receives Approval to Offer Virtual Asset Services


Taiwan’s telecommunications landscape is experiencing a shakeup with the news that Taiwan Mobile, the country’s second-largest provider, has been granted a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license. This regulatory green light, issued by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), paves the way for Taiwan Mobile to potentially launch its own cryptocurrency exchange.

Operating under the Chinese name “Taiwan Big Brother,” Taiwan Mobile becomes the 26th company to receive a VASP license in the country. According to Bloomberg, the company has harbored ambitions to enter the crypto market for over a year, with speculations suggesting potential acquisition plans for existing exchanges. Notably, the VASP license was issued under the name Fusheng Digital, a subsidiary owned by Taiwan Mobile. Both entities share Lin Zhichen as their leader.

Taiwan Mobile’s journey to securing the VASP license involved demonstrating compliance with stringent Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Successfully clearing these hurdles grants them eligibility for membership within the recently established (June 2024) Taiwan Virtual Asset Service Provider Association, a self-regulatory body within the domestic crypto industry.

Taiwan Tightens its Grip on Crypto Regulation

The FSC assumed the reins of crypto regulation in Taiwan in mid-2023. This shift in oversight has resulted in a more structured and stricter regulatory environment. Some key milestones include:

September 2023: The FSC establishes management guidelines for domestic crypto businesses, coupled with a ban on foreign operators.

October 2023: The Taiwanese parliament introduces a bill that reinforces the FSC’s guidelines and empowers them to impose fines for non-compliance.

March 2024: The FSC announces plans to introduce a new bill to the parliament, aiming to further tighten regulations and enhance consumer protection within the crypto market.

May 2024: The Justice Ministry proposes amendments to current AML laws, specifically targeting VASPs. These amendments, if passed, would render responsible parties within VASPs liable to prison sentences in case of violations.

It’s worth noting that in May 2024, Binance, a major international cryptocurrency exchange, collaborated with the Justice Ministry to resolve a $6.2 million money laundering case. This collaboration resulted in charges against nine individuals for money laundering, fraud, and organized crime activities.

Taiwan Mobile’s foray into the crypto space, marked by the VASP license acquisition, signifies a new chapter for both the company and the Taiwanese crypto industry. With stricter regulations being implemented, it’s evident that the FSC is prioritizing responsible growth and consumer safety in this rapidly evolving market. The potential launch of a Taiwan Mobile-backed cryptocurrency exchange could further shape the domestic crypto landscape, attracting new participants and potentially influencing market dynamics.

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Author: Sb

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