The last couple of days have proven to be quite interesting for the Bitcoin community in China, and Taiwan. Over in Shenzhen, one of the first bitcoin meetups to take place in mainland China will unfold during the first week, whereas in Taiwan, Bitcoin has reportedly been ‘unbanned’.
To put things better into perspective, Bitcoin was thought as to have been illegal in the region, after the Central News Agency, which is one of Taiwan’s biggest media outlets has mentioned a report in which Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission, also known as the FSC went ahead and labelled Bitcoin as illegal. The actual words were spoken by Tseng Ming-Chung, who is an FSC officer who referred to bitcoin and other digital currencies as unlawful.
At that moment in time, Tseng also made a pledge, saying that the organization would work with Taiwan’s central bank and law enforcement to crack down on any illegal acts carried out with the help of bitcoin, while also looking for ways to impose penalties on those using the currency.
Now, a recent statement that has been released by the states that Bitcoin has been defined as virtual commodity in 2013, which means that banks in the country were asked not to exchange and receive bitcoin. The position, which remains neutral, clarifies the fact that Bitcoin is actually legal, just not encouraged.
The position of the Taiwanese government and banks are negative, due to bitcoin criminality which has taken place around the region. In fact, one of the country’s business men was kidnapped, and held for a ransom of $9 million, which was demanded in Bitcoin. When stories like these take place, people tend to focus on the negative aspects of the currency, and forget about all the benefits that the currency can grant.
Regardless of the rocky relationship between Bitcoin and Taiwan, the currency remains legal in the region, thus showcasing its potential.
Other than this, Bitcoin is slowly gaining ground over in China. Regardless of the fact that most bitcoin trading is carried out in China, people are still limited in what they can do with the currency. While Bitcoin is technically legal in the region, banks and government officials have also discouraged its use, while also discussing about potential bans. With this in mind, a Bitcoin Meetup will take place in Shenzhen, China next week, this being one of the first to take place in mainland China, and not in Hong Kong, which is an autonomous region.
Leaving aside the government pressure that has been imposed so far, Chinese institutions have also begun analysing the currency, and being a bit more lenient toward bitcoin-based businesses.
These wins for the cryptocurrency will surely help pave the ground for further development in the Asian region, thus increasing adoption, and implicitly, value.
What do you personally think about the recent events in Asia? Will these encourage a bitcoin value increase?