Taiwan says ‘No Way’ to Bitcoin ATM, Blow for Robocoin?

The Taiwanese Central Bank & Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) have jointly declared that Bitcoin cannot be recognized as a valid form of currency. FSC Chairman Tseng Ming Chung said that Robocoin ATM’s would be prohibited. This was almost immediately in response to Robocoins intentions of introducing Bitcoin ATM’s to Hong Kong as well as Taiwan.

Central Bank and FSC recently released a joint statement warning against bitcoin. According to the Central Bank, bitcoin is not a currency; financial institutions and the public shouldn’t use it as medium of payment, stated FSC Chairman Zeng Mingzong In an interview with CNA. Given bitcoin’s non-currency status, no bank deposits should made in it, and banks are not allowed to receive or provide (bitcoins). To install bitcoin ATMs would require approval from FSC, which will not be given. So it is impossible for a bitcoin ATM to come to or appear in Taiwan.

The first Bitcoin ATM was installed in Vancouver, Canada on 29th October 2013. Robocoin first unveiled the ATM at a conference in San Jose, California during last year’s springtime. At the time Robocoin had said that four other ATM’s would be launched in December at Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa. On 7th January 2014 however, Robocoin announced that they would be deploying the world’s second Bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong.

Robocoin had raised a whopping $942,000 via 1500 transactions at the first Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, in just over a month. According to Robocoin, they have sold nearly 50 ATM machines to operators worldwide but they are not yet in operation. Hong Kong was chosen because due to its positive response towards technological innovation. I think Hong Kong is a very progressive environment, said CEO Jordan Kelley. The government takes a progressive approach to emerging technologies, and it is important to get something going in the Asian economies, he added.

Hong Kong has decided not to take any sort of regulatory stance on Bitcoin. Taiwan is not completely shutout from Bitcoin however. They have a Bitcoin exchange called Digital Entertainment company Wayi also recently announced its plans to begin accepting Bitcoins. Its online retails wing, Wmall displays the Bitcoin logo on its front page as well as banner.