Taipei-based cryptocurrency trading exchange Maicoin Ltd (現代財富科技) yesterday said it is in talks with Facebook Inc about participating in the latter’s plan to create a digital currency called Libra.
Maicoin wants to become a member of the Geneva, Switzerland-based Libra Association and operate a “node” on the blockchain-based network, which would validate and record transactions on the shared ledger, chief executive officer Alex Liu (劉世偉) told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Taipei.
The association, which debuted in June with 29 members, is tasked with overseeing the blockchain-based currency and maintain a real-world asset reserves to keep its value stable, Liu said.
It aims to eventually incorporate 100 members, with new members to be unveiled by the end of this year, he said.
Binance (幣安), the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded value, has reportedly considered becoming a node on the Libra network, but Taiwanese exchanges are more likely to take the lead in Chinese-speaking regions, Liu said.
Binance, founded in China in 2017, last year relocated its headquarters to Malta due to disapproval from Chinese regulators, while Facebook is still blocked in China, so Taiwanese firms have a better chance of being trusted by the US social media, he said.
While each member has to invest at least US$10 million into the operation of the Libra project, money would not be a key factor for the association when choosing members, Liu said.
“When we reached Facebook and discussed getting involved in the project, Facebook told us that it is looking for partners around the world that not only have high technical skills to protect the node, but also are confident of building a local user base of more than 20 million people,” Liu added.
Given that Taiwan has 12 million Facebook users, who embrace new services launched by the California-based company, Liu is confident that Taiwanese firms will meet the requirements, adding that Taiwan would be an ideal market for Libra.
Maicoin would not need approval from local regulators to become a member of the association, but if the exchange plans to allow investors to trade Libra with New Taiwan dollars, it would need regulatory approval, he said.
Libra is expected to be used in many operations, from payments and money transfer to cryptocurrencies trade, as association members include Mastercard Inc, Visa Inc and PayPal Holdings Inc, as well as other companies such as Lyft Inc and Uber Technologies Inc, Liu said.
It is too early for the Financial Supervisory Commission to give an opinion on Libra, but it would intervene if the digital currency is found to be similar to securities tokens, Securities and Futures Bureau Deputy Director-General Tsai Li-ling (蔡麗玲) said.
RETAIL BANKING EXIT: Clients are concerned whether their rights would be protected, while employees were caught by surprise as the bank had just upgraded its services Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) yesterday said that credit card clients could continue using their cards as operations would continue normally until it sells its consumer banking business. As of February, the bank had 2.86 million credit cards in circulation in Taiwan, of which 2.17 million had been used in the past six months, ranking it sixth among all banks, data from the Financial Supervisory Commission showed. Credit card spending by Citibank clients totaled NT$15.66 billion (US$552.6 million) in February, also ranking sixth among banks in Taiwan. Citibank was the only foreign bank that made it into the top six. Customers should not
PANDEMIC EFFECT: Chromebook shipments in the first quarter more than tripled from a year earlier, driven primarily by educational institutions in North America Despite a semiconductor shortage, global PC shipments in the first quarter of this year increased 32 percent from a year earlier, preliminary data from research firm Gartner Inc showed. Shipments in the January-to-March period totaled 69.87 million units from 52.93 million units a year earlier, Gartner said in a report on Monday last week. The quarterly increase in shipments marked the fastest annual growth since it began tracking the PC market in 2000, Gartner said. “This growth should be viewed in the context of two unique factors: comparisons against a pandemic-constrained market and the current global semiconductor shortage,” Gartner research director Mikako Kitagawa
NO MONEY LAUNDERING: Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Lin Chih-chi said transactions of more than NT$500,000 conducted in cash would need to be reported The Financial Supervisory Commission is to set up new money laundering regulations for the nation’s cryptocurrency exchanges from July 1, requiring them to report transactions valued at more than NT$500,000 (US$17,770), the commission said yesterday. The move came after the Executive Yuan earlier this month demanded that the commission establish regulations to prevent money laundering in the cryptocurrency industry. The cryptocurrency industry includes local trading platforms for cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency wallet providers and firms that conduct security token offerings, the Executive Yuan said. The commission plans to require cryptocurrency exchanges to report any transaction of more than NT$500,000 conducted in cash, or an equivalent
TREASURY REPORT: A US government report urging the central bank to curtail its foreign-exchange intervention, coupled with soaring exports, might lift the NT dollar The New Taiwan dollar yesterday posted its biggest daily advance since December last year after a report by the US Department of the Treasury last week hinted that US President Joe Biden’s administration could exert greater pressure on Taiwan’s central bank to allow the local currency to appreciate. The NT dollar rose 0.5 percent to close at NT$28.205 against the greenback, and was emerging Asia’s best-performing currency for the day. While the Treasury report on Friday did not label Taiwan as a currency manipulator, it said the US would initiate “enhanced bilateral engagement” to address what it considers as “structural undervaluation”