Financial service providers are looking for ways to provide reliable services but in a more impactful way, and that’s where blockchain technology comes in. Today, there are over 2500 cryptocurrencies. The technology behind Bitcoin and other digital currencies is known as blockchain. But applications of blockchain technology go beyond finance.
With blockchain still at its nascent stages, most countries are in the process of trying to figure out how to get the best out of this revolutionary technology. Taiwan, a small island in East Asia, seems to be a little more serious about innovation than most nations. In a mission to transform the nation-state into a blockchain island, authorities in Taiwan are putting a lot of effort into seeing this nascent industry prosper. Leading the efforts to advance the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in Taiwan is Congressman Jason Hsu.
Who’s Jason Hsu?
Jason Hsu is an official legislature and Member of Parliament in Taiwan. Before he joined politics, Hsu was a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur. Hsu moved back to Taiwan from the US in 2009 and started working with the government as the advisor to the prime minister on matters related to innovation and technology. As a legislator and congressman in the Taiwanese parliament, Hsu has always focused most of his attention to bridging the gap between public policy and technology.
Since he became a politician, Jason Hsu has been involved in the drafting of several legislations relating to autonomous vehicles, cyber-security, and the digital economy. Jason Hsu is a vocal proponent of blockchain. He is currently working to transform Taiwan into a blockchain island, a goal he is passionately dedicated to. In an interview with Jason Hsu, he explains how he plans to turn the small island into a blockchain hub.
Taiwanese congressman Jason Hsu wants to use his legislative powers to bridge the gap between technology and public policy and remove legal barriers to technology innovation in Taiwan. In the few years that he has been in Congress, Hsu has helped draft and pass laws designed to make Taiwan attractive to blockchain start-ups. For instance, in December 2017, the Taiwanese parliament passed Taiwan’s fintech regulatory sandbox. The sandbox allowed selected start-ups to launch new products and services with some immunity from existing regulation.
Popularly known as the Regulatory Sandbox Bill, the Taiwan Financial Technology Experimentation and Innovation Act is intended to help remedy the fintech gap in the nation-state. Jason Hsu played a critical role in the drafting of the act and the entire legislative process. The sandbox was launched to open up opportunities for fintech start-ups in Taiwan and help these start-ups develop technologies that can be used to create solutions on a global scale. Jason Hsu has drafted numerous policy recommendations to assist cryptocurrency start-ups in Taiwan.
What About Taiwan That Makes It Ripe for Blockchain And Technology Development?
Taiwan is open for cryptocurrency and blockchain start-ups. By passing the Financial Technology Experimentation and Innovation Act, Taiwan made it clear that Taiwan is open to blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation. The Regulatory Sandbox Bill was, in fact, drafted as a response to China’s decision to block Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) by cryptocurrency websites in mainland China. Jason Hsu came up with the idea to draft the Regulatory Sandbox Bill, a move that saw him nicknamed the “crypto congressman” by Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin.
According to Congressman Jason Hsu, the goal of the Taiwan authorities is to create a fair regulatory environment that encourages innovation and protects the rights of the consumer. The ‘crypto congressman’ believes that Taiwan’s large pool of talent can pilot and pioneer projects that can build actual applications for the blockchain and transform Taiwan into a blockchain island. Compared to Silicon Valley, Hsu notes that the island nation has a supply of cheaper engineers. These professionals are just as good — if not better — than their counterparts in Silicon Valley.