Crypto Purchases Using Credit Cards Now Banned in Taiwan

  • Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission has instructed credit card companies to stop signing on crypto firms as merchants in the next three months.
  • The financial regulator specified that credit cards are essentially consumer payment tools, and as such should not be used for high risk financial transactions.

Taipei City Skyline at sunset, Taiwan. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Taiwan’s chief financial regulator, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), has issued a warning that credit cards should not be used for crypto purchases, local news outlet UDN reported on 21 July.

According to the publication, the FSC had sent a letter to the local banking industry in early July, indicating the credit card companies should not sign on virtual asset service providers (VASPs) as merchants. The letter — which essentially puts a ban on buying crypto with credit cards — also reminded the Banking Association about the risks associated with crypto assets.

The FSC also clarified that credit cards are viewed as consumer payment tools on the island, and not as tools for speculative or high risk transactions. The financial regulator pointed out that credit cards cannot be used for investment tools — such as online gambling, stocks, futures, options, or other high risk financial leverage transactions — in Taiwan for years now. The FSC gave the Banking Association three months to comply with the new requirement, after which its audit unit must review its internal compliance and report the results back to the regulator.

Since China’s crackdown on crypto in 2021 — which caused a rush of activity in Taiwan’s crypto industry — the FSC has continued to issue press releases warning the public of risks related to virtual assets. Back in July 2021, the Taiwanese government also enacted new anti-money laundering (AML) requirements for crypto exchanges, which ere based on the FATF recommendations.

Regulators around the world have started to accelerate their efforts to develop and implement new crypto rules, especially after the collapse of Terra (LUNA). Back in June Japan became one of the first countries to pass a legal framework for stablecoins, clarifying their definition and who can be an issuer. Singapore, on the other hand, is considering to implement further restrictions on crypto, while the U.S. Treasury Department has opened the door for public comments regarding its upcoming policy recommendations for crypto.

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