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Taiwan Notes Rise in Bitcoin, Ethereum Use in Bribery Cases

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
A woman’s hands hold metal tokens intended to represent Ethereum and Bitcoin coin with a laptop displaying a graph in the background.
Source: Pintau Studio/adobe

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH)-powered “bribery” cases are on the rise in Taiwan, the nation’s justice ministry has claimed.

Per the China Times, the ministry warned that cash is no longer the only currency used in corruption cases.

The ministry said that BTC, ETH, and other coins were also “emerging” as tools of corruption.

The government organ said that it feared that BTC, Ether, and other cryptoassets were being used as “election bribery tools” ahead of next year’s general elections.

Taiwan is set to go to the polls to choose a new President in mid-January 2024.

And the ministry said that both the police force and prosecutors have “actively prevented” crypto and other “methods” of corruption from “making their presence felt” in the general election.

The ministry claimed that the “methods” used by people looking to bribe officials are “changing with each passing day,” and are “no longer limited to” cash.

As well as crypto, corrupt officials are being offered bribes via mobile e-pay platforms like Line Pay, Pi Wallet, Jiekou, and Oufubao ahead of the elections, the ministry said.

The ministry added that millions of dollars worth of rewards had been handed over to individuals who had tipped police off about cases of suspect bribery in the past two decades.

A graph showing prices of the fiat TWD versus Ethereum over the past 12 months.
Prices of the fiat TWD versus Ethereum over the past 12 months. (Source: XE.com)

Taiwanese Bitcoin, ETH Bribery Cases Rise – Who Are Corrupt Officials?

Per figures released by the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, “a total of 1,335 cases” of corruption were processed in the wake of last year’s municipal elections.

Over 700 people have been brought to trial on election-related corruption charges.

Officials caught taking bribes include ex-members of Taiwan’s executive body, former central government officials, a mayor, a city council speaker, and a deputy speaker, as well as other high-ranking public office-holders.

Last month, one of Taiwan’s biggest telecommunications firms, Taiwan Mobile, was reported to have entered talks with a number of local crypto platforms.

Taiwan Mobile could potentially enter a partnership deal with at least one of the firms, people “familiar with the matter” claimed.