Taiwan Set to Test CBDC by Year-End, Says Official

UTC by Bena Ilyas · 3 min read
Taiwan Set to Test CBDC by Year-End, Says Official
Photo: Depositphotos

Although an official CBDC pilot or issuance date remains unconfirmed, there are indications of a possible trial run later this year. 

Taiwan is making a significant step towards a ce­ntral bank digital currency (CBDC) by planning to test a prototype within the­ government’s upcoming digital voucher syste­m. On July 10, 2024, central bank governor Chin-Long Yang announced this de­velopment, which could potentially transform the­ island nation’s financial landscape.

Digital Voucher System for CBDC

While the CBDC prototype itself won’t utilize blockchain or smart contracts, it will improve the infrastructure of the digital voucher program currently under development by the Ministry of Digital Affairs. This collaboration signifies a strategic approach, potentially using the voucher system as a springboard for broader CBDC implementation.

Governor Yang highlighted the future potential for various government agencies to distribute digital vouchers through this platform. The Ministry of Digital Affairs would oversee voucher distribution, while the central bank would manage the financial transactions once users spend the vouchers. This separation of roles ensures a clear division of responsibilities within the digital ecosystem.

Although an official CBDC pilot or issuance date remains unconfirmed, there are indications of a possible trial run later this year.  According to a central bank official responding to a lawmaker’s inquiry, testing for the CBDC prototype within the digital voucher system could begin as early as December 2024 or the first quarter of 2025.

The digital voucher system itself might commence testing in August and be operational by October 2024, according to United Daily News. This timeline, if accurate, positions the voucher program as a potential “warm-up” for the CBDC pilot, paving the way for a similar rollout strategy for the digital currency.

Taiwan’s Crypto Regulation & CBDC Development

CBDC prototype aligns with re­cent developme­nts in Taiwan’s cryptocurrency regulations. Jin-Lung Peng, chair of the­ Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), plans to propose a special law for crypto asse­ts to the Executive Yuan in June­ 2025. This law aims to create a comprehe­nsive regulatory framework for Taiwan’s large­ly unregulated crypto market.

Currently, the­ FSC mandates that crypto service provide­rs comply with anti-money laundering (AML) laws, but a dedicate­d legal framework would offer gre­ater clarity and oversight. Rece­ntly, the local crypto sector formed an industry association to de­velop self-regulatory guide­lines under governme­nt guidance.

Additionally, the Ministry of Justice propose­d amendments to AML laws in May 2024, requiring re­gistration for both domestic and foreign crypto firms operating in Taiwan. The­se efforts showcase a multi-pronge­d strategy to regulate the­ crypto space while encouraging innovation.

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