Anti-money laundering acts amended to regulate virtual currencies - Focus Taiwan

Anti-money laundering acts amended to regulate virtual currencies

Taipei, Nov. 2 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan passed amendments Friday to existing anti-money laundering and terrorism financing prevention laws that regulate transactions of virtual currencies such as bitcoin to help combat online financial crimes.

The amendments to the Money Laundering Control Act and the Terrorism Financing Prevention Act give Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) the authority to crack down on anonymous virtual currency transactions.

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, according to the new provisions.

If they don't, banks can reject anonymous virtual currency transactions and report them to the FSC if they deem them suspicious.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said the amendments not only align Taiwan more closely with international standards but also make Taiwan's anti-money laundering system more complete and support efforts to build a culture that values legal compliance.

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, the MOJ said.

Although the Money Laundering Control Act was amended in 2016, it has not fully prevented related financial crimes, the MOJ said, and the ministry expected the new amendments to help Taiwan perform better in its upcoming evaluation by the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), which will take place from Nov. 5 to 16.

(By Liu Shih-yi and Chi Jo-yao)


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