What happened: As the mainland gears up for new restrictions on blockchain companies, Taiwan lawmaker Jason Hsu is calling for cryptocurrency regulations aimed at helping the technology’s development. Among the policy recommendations published last Friday, he asked that Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs designate a new business category and laws for security tokens. He also urged that the government issue guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs) to protect consumers. Hsu’s proposal goes further than plans by Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission chairman to set “national standards” for ICOs by next June. Those standards, which have yet to be outlined clearly, would probably define what tokens may be categorized as securities but wouldn’t cover non-securities-related cryptocurrencies.
Why it’s important: If passed into law, Hsu’s proposals would set in place regulations that are similar in part to existing laws in the US and France. Security tokens and security token offerings (STOs) allow crypto startups to acquire funding more directly from investors, but may also offer risks to consumers. By regulating securities more closely, Taiwan could establish more accountability within its cryptocurrency market and help it grow. Whether or not Hsu’s proposals pass, current government initiatives offers a direct contrast to mainland China, where ICOs and crypto trading have been subject to major crackdowns.