The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is drawing up national standards for initial coin offerings (ICOs) to make virtual tokens as easy to invest in as stocks and just as liquid, FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said yesterday.
The draft is to be completed by June next year, he told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee.
Koo made the remarks after Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator William Tseng (曾銘宗) said at a question-and-answer session on whether the government would regulate ICOs.
To conduct an ICO, businesses typically post a white paper on the Internet that outlines their ideas on token use, issue requirements and expected growth before offering virtual tokens for sale.
However, 127 white papers worldwide were found last year to have been faked and as of April, 80 papers were found to be inaccurate, Tseng said. Citing data from ICO advisory firm Satis Group, Tseng said that 81 percent of ICOs have been identified as scams.
The commission would regulate ICOs, Koo said, but added that tokens exchanged for goods, such as those used in accruing points at convenience stores or mileage points accepted by airlines, would not be covered by the standards.
“The more we regulate, the more this new economic behavior wanes,” Koo said.
The commission has no intention of curbing the creativity and productivity associated with cryptocurrencies if they are not used as securities, he said.
“People often confuse an ICO with the trading of cryptocurrencies,” Securities and Futures Bureau Deputy Director-General Tsai Li-ling (蔡麗玲) said by telephone.
An ICO is a type of public fundraising activity, whereas cryptocurrency trading is similar to trading in gold, for which the commission only implements money laundering controls, Tsai said.
If the token in an ICO functioned similar to a security, the commission would define it as a “securities token” and subject it to the Securities and Exchange Act (證交法), Tsai said.
The issuer would also need to disclose information similar to what companies that are publicly traded need to do now, she said.
However, without referencing the standards of other countries, it would be difficult to draft standards for ICOs, Tsai said.
The government tends to regard cryptocurrencies as virtue commodities or assets rather than currencies, because they have no intrinsic value, central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) told the committee, explaining why the commission should be responsible for regulating ICOs.
The commission said it has helped prosecutors investigate three cases of suspected ICO fraud.
One of the cases involved a private company advertising that coins could be exchanged for equities, which might have violated the Securities and Exchange Act and the Banking Act (銀行法), the commission said.
MOVING ON UP: Taiwan improved in all four areas measured by the IMD, making its biggest leap, from 17th to sixth place, in economic performance Taiwan moved up three spots from last year to place eighth, its best performance since 2013, in the latest annual world competitiveness rankings, released yesterday by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). Innovation, digitalization, welfare benefits and social cohesion are critical to economic performance, with Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Singapore making up the top five on the list this year, the Switzerland-based institute said, after grading 64 countries and regions based on economic performance, infrastructure, and government and business efficiency. “Leading performers are characterized by varying degrees of investment in innovation, diversified economic activities and supportive public policy,” IMD
With the US opening up to travel, demand in Taiwan for US-bound flights has soared, pushing up ticket prices to most destinations in North America, tourism sources said. Fares for destinations in the US have risen dramatically since the middle of last month, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming months, as California on Tuesday lifted most social distancing and capacity limits put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19, ezTravel Co (易遊網) said in a statement yesterday. The travel agency forecast that the number of tickets sold this month is likely to be double or triple
‘MATTER OF SURVIVAL’: Vice Premier Liu He is to lead the development of ‘third-generation’ chips, a field not yet dominated by any nation or company Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is renewing his years-long push to achieve technology self-sufficiency by tapping a top deputy to shepherd a key initiative aimed at helping domestic chipmakers overcome US sanctions. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (劉鶴), Xi’s economic czar whose sprawling portfolio spans trade to finance and technology, has been tapped to spearhead the development of so-called “third-generation” chip development and capabilities, and is leading the formulation of a series of financial and policy supports for the technology, people with knowledge of the matter said. It is a nascent field that relies on newer materials and gear beyond traditional silicon,
OPPORTUNITY: The company aims to sell its product soon, as enterovirus vaccines are not available anywhere but China, where firms are only marketing their vaccines locally Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s (高端疫苗) phase 3 clinical trials for an enterovirus 71 (EV71) vaccine completed the multi-regional, multi-central data “unblinding” yesterday, with the results, including safety, immunogenicity and efficacy, meeting its expectations. The company would compile a final analysis report as soon as possible, and apply for the new drug certificate from domestic and foreign drug authorities in the third quarter, Medigen said in a Taiwan Stock Exchange filing yesterday. Its phase 3 trials were conducted in Taiwan and Vietnam with 3,049 participants ranging from two months old to six years old, Medigen said. The company enrolled its first participant for