Taiwan Bans Crypto Purchases Using Credit Cards

Taiwan’s securities watchdog has asked the banking industry not to grant virtual asset providers merchant status



key takeaways

  • Taiwan’s FSC said credit cards should not be used for payments tied to gambling, stocks, futures, options and other transactions
  • Credit card issuers in Taiwan have three months to make adjustments and comply with the new law

Taiwan’s securities watchdog has implicitly banned cryptocurrency transactions with credit cards on the island nation.

The country’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) issued a letter to the banking industry association earlier this month, asking that they not grant “merchant status” to virtual asset providers which service credit card holders.

Details of the letter stated that digital assets are highly speculative and prices are often extremely volatile, local media reported. Further, credit cards should not be used for payments tied to gambling, stocks, futures, options and other transactions.

The move follows strict anti-money laundering laws for cryptocurrency services providers enacted last July.

Credit card issuers in Taiwan have been given three months to make adjustments and comply with the new law. Once that time is up, an independent audit unit will review compliance and report results to the FSC, which is effectively Taiwan’s equivalent of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cryptocurrency is tightly regulated in neighboring China, but lawmakers worldwide have looked to hasten crypto supervision following the implosion of Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin in May, which sent cryptocurrency markets tumbling.

The UK recently introduced a new bill that seeks to regulate stablecoins and Russia has extended its crypto payments ban to specifically include security tokens, utility tokens and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Meanwhile, the Taiwanese central bank has been exploring a no-interest CBDC (central bank digital currency). The CBDC is in its second stage of development and is currently being distributed in five selected Taiwanese banks.

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