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Taiwan Demands Public Servants to Reveal Their Digital Asset Holdings

Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice has suggested that civil servants might be asked to disclose their digital currency holdings in line with the country’s ethical standards.

The Taiwanese government has confirmed that it has taken steps to increase the disclosure requirements for public officials, as stipulated by property declaration laws, regarding virtual assets valued over NT$1 million (US$32,900). These measures are intended to promote the accountability and trustworthiness of those serving in public offices.

What’s the Date of Implementation?

No timeline has been set for the inclusion of digital currencies in property declaration, yet experts anticipate it to be enforced by November. This also coincides with the traditional filing period of November for Taiwanese public servants, and authorities are likely aiming to implement this new proposal before this period.

Government personnel who could be impacted by this proposal comprise: the Executive Offices, Vice President, political leaders, attorneys, and along with some other important figures.

If the proposal is approved, affected public officials must declare their digital currency holdings within 3 months of taking office and make a report to the concerned authority within 2 months of vacating. Consequences for not complying with such regulations may involve hefty fines, mandated by the Examination and Control Yuan.

In 2021, Taiwan enacted some important anti-money laundering regulations for digital currency exchanges, necessitating them to reveal transactions of US$17,900 or more. Since the adoption of the money laundering rule, the country’s digital currency laws have stagnated in a state of dormancy for close to 18 months.

Taiwan Following Suit from US?

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) in the United States has already set similar operational rules for the disclosure of digital currency holdings of executive branch officials, in order to ensure transparency across jurisdictions. These rules require all individuals in the executive branch to report any digital currency holdings.

The OGE is even planning on expanding this requirement to other branches of the government as well for avoiding conflicts of interest among them.