Taiwan Mobile receives VASP license, entry to crypto market

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Taiwan Mobile, the country’s second-largest telecommunications provider, has received a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license from the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), according to local reports. The license creates a path for it to open a cryptocurrency exchange.

Taiwan Mobile, which is called Taiwan Big Brother in Chinese, is the 26th company to be licensed as a VASP. It has been eyeing a place in the crypto market for over a year, according to Bloomberg, which speculated that Taiwan Mobile was seeking to buy an existing exchange. It was licensed under the name of Fusheng Digital, which Taiwan Mobile owns. Both companies are headed by Lin Zhichen.

VASPs as a diverse and regulated domestic industry

To receive the VASP license, Taiwan Mobile had to conform to several Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements. Once those hurdles are cleared, the company is eligible for membership in the self-regulatory Taiwan Virtual Asset Service Provider Association, which was founded in June.

Source: Kyle Chassé

Most of the members of the VASP association are startups, so the entry of a major corporation will give the industry a boost, the United Daily News said. The addition of companies from a variety of sectors provides the association with new experience and resources, chairman Zheng Guangtai was quoted as saying.

Crypto regulation evolving, becoming stricter in Taiwan

The FSC assumed responsibility for crypto regulation in mid-2023. In September, it formulated management guidelines for crypto businesses and banned foreign operators. The following month, a bill was introduced into the Taiwanese parliament that backed FSC guidelines with fines.

Related: Polymarket gambler face charges after Taiwan election bet

The FSC announced in March that it would introduce a bill into parliament to tighten regulation and increase consumer protections. The Justice Ministry proposed amendments to AML laws in May that would impact VASPs by making violations they commit punishable by prison terms for the responsible parties.

Binance collaborated with the Justice Ministry in solving a money laundering case worth $6.2 million the same month. It resulted in nine people being charged with money laundering, fraud and organized crime.

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