Tue, Jul 03, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Government champions blockchain

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Government officials yesterday said that they would continue to champion’s Taiwan’s blockchain industry to tap into the technology’s potential.

Taiwan is a believer of blockchain, and the technology is among the key trends such as artificial intelligence (AI) that would transform industries and people’s daily lives, National Development Council (NDC) Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) said during her address at the Asia Blockchain Summit.

The government’s primary task is to define the rules and regulations for blockchain and cultivate an environment that allows developers to forge ahead with blockchain applications that are not explicitly prohibited under current laws, Chen said.

The government will also strive to champion the industry through efforts in open data initiatives to further accelerate development as well as help industries adopt blockchain applications, Chen said, adding that self-regulating organizations would play a bigger role in balancing the risks of innovations and preserving consumers’ interests.

However, due to blockchain’s ability to store permanent and unalterable records through decentralized networks, the technology could be in conflict with Europe’s stringent data and privacy rules, Chen said.

The council is to set up a personal data protection office to address potential run-ins with the General Data Protection Regulation, which extends the right for consumers to delete their digital footprint and “be forgotten” by businesses.

Chen said that she expects blockchain to be an important tool in public governance to get people more involved in public policy decisions.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁), a major proponent of the technology, said that with China banning initial coin offerings, Taiwan is well-positioned to become a major blockchain investment destination, along with Japan and South Korea.

In response, Financial Supervisory Commission Vice Chairman Cheng Cheng-mount (鄭貞茂) said that regulators are mostly concerned with whether the decentralized fundraising tool could meet information security requirements like centralized equities markets.

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