Candidate Receives First Crypto Donation in Taiwan
In August, Hsiao announced that his campaign was accepting donations in crypto currency. Hsiao is running on a platform of encouraging technological innovation, and on combating corruption and removing corrupt financial practices from Taiwanese politics.
Because the value of the donated Bitcoin will change over time, which may cause the value of the donation to exceed NT$ 10,000, the Control Yuan watchdog agency has suggested that the candidates should either remand the extra contribution amount to them, or to return the excess amount to the donor if they can be identified.
Hsiao’s platform revolves around the use of technology to end corruption and achieve transparency. He believes that bitcoin donations, because of the inherent transparency of blockchain technology, will assist in fighting corruption.
Hsiao is being compared to “Crypto Congressman” Jason Hsu. Hsu was elected a Member of Parliament in 2016 and has been actively involved in promoting new technologies like crypto currency and autonomous vehicles.
Hsu announced plans to formulate a special economic zone that would allow blockchain companies to establish headquarters. Hsu is a proponent of flexible regulation and making blockchain, crypto currency, and other new technologies accessible to people.
Hsiao is not the first politician in the world to accept donations in crypto currency. The United States legalized donations in crypto currency to politicians in 2014. New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway received the first ever bitcoin donation later that year.
Concerns remain about the anonymous nature of bitcoin, and fears of money laundering run high. Taiwan does not have complete crypto currency regulations. Bitcoin donations are considered to be non-cash political donations, which limit them to US $325. This limit remains a question – Hsiao received several donations of this amount.
Qiu Taisen, Justice Minister of Taiwan, has called for comprehensive crypto currency regulations to be enacted by 2019 in order to hamper money laundering. Taisan said that an inter-agency initiative should be implemented that would involve the Ministry of Interior, the Bureau of Investigation and the central bank.
Wellington Koo, the chariman of the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan said that these measures would be intended to make sure that bitcoin and other crypto currencies can’t be used for money laundering. Koo said that Taiwan would not follow China, which has imposed severe restrictions and outright bans on crypto currency activities.