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Crypto gambling takes center stage in Taiwan’s election drama – Officials probe scandal

Taiwan

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TL;DR

  • Reports have it that Taiwan’s investigation unit has been dispatched to pay attention to any illegal behavior that may affect the election.
  • Taiwan’s presidential election has become a target for the illegal decentralized gambling website Polymarket. As election day approaches, crypto users have been advised to remain cautious.
  • According to reports, on-chain political gambling may violate Article 88-1 of the Election Law, resulting in a six-month prison sentence, criminal detention, or an NT$100,000 fine.
  • Away from Taiwan, during the 2020 presidential election in the United States, Polymarket saw tremendous trade, setting a new volume record of more than $10 million.

With the Taiwan presidential election less than a month away, the people of Taiwan have reportedly been advised against betting on the presidential outcome through crypto betting platforms. This advice comes amid an ongoing inquiry in which many individuals have already been summoned for questioning.

Taiwan officials on high alert over gambling crypto 

The one-month countdown to the Gulf presidential election has begun! Lai Xiaopei (Lai Qingde, Xiao Meiqin) of the Democratic Progressive Party, Hou Kangpei (Hou Youyi, Zhao Shaokang) of the Kuomintang, and Ke Yingpei (Ke Wenzhe, Wu Xinying) of the People’s Party are the three groups of presidential and vice-presidential candidates. 

However, as election day approaches, crypto users must be extra cautious to avoid engaging in illegal online gambling.

According to a recent local report, a number of Taiwanese individuals have placed bets on the future presidential election set for January 13, 2024, on the decentralized betting platform Polymarket.

On that note, while many Taiwanese users might assume that betting on predictions is simply part of an on-chain transaction and does not break the law, any gambling on Taiwan’s elections may pose substantial legal dangers.

According to sources, regardless of the size of the bet, on-chain gambling, including this type of behavior, may have violated Article 88-1 of the Election Law and might result in a six-month prison sentence, criminal detention, or an NT$100,000 fine.

On the other hand, the community underlined that as long as money is transferred from a centralized exchange to an appropriate platform, inspection units would be able to track the cash movement. 

As a result, readers and users are encouraged to avoid any gambling activities that may violate election and recall legislation or other related regulations, particularly during sensitive periods such as Taiwan’s elections.

In addition to Taiwan, Polymarkets last year encountered regulatory hurdles in the United States. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), based in New York, filed legal action against the platform in January 2022.

According to the CFTC, the platform has been running an “illegal unregistered or non-designated facility” since June 2020. Moreover, during the 2020 presidential election in the United States, Polymarket saw tremendous trade, setting a new volume record of more than $10 million.

Taiwan’s economy prepares for election with unchanged rates

Taiwan’s central bank held interest rates constant at its last 2023 meeting, maintaining borrowing prices at their highest in eight years as the island prepares for a pivotal January election.

Policymakers kept Taiwan’s benchmark interest rate at 1.875% for the third day in a row, as predicted by 20 of 21 analysts polled by Bloomberg. They have not raised interest rates since March.

The monetary authority previously reduced its prediction for economic growth this year to 1.4% from 1.46% but provided a more optimistic perspective for next year, lifting its full-year forecast to 3.12%. 

The central bank stated in its statement that keeping borrowing charges unchanged will contribute to the stable growth of the economy and finance. It did, however, caution that it is keeping a close eye on the downside risks posed by China’s slowing economy. 

Policymakers will continue to be concerned about stubbornly high consumer prices. Their full-year inflation predictions for this year and next have been boosted to 2.46% and 1.89%, respectively. 

In the run-up to the presidential election, the central bank’s response to inflation is being widely scrutinized. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party is attempting to win an unprecedented third straight term in power. 

The economy of Taiwan

High costs are posing problems for the government, with the consumer price index lingering around 3% for the last three months as the price of major staples such as meat has risen. Last month, the gap between inflation for the island’s poorest families and overall price hikes was the biggest since March, adding to the island’s difficulties. 

The DPP’s chances of regaining power may be jeopardized if inflationary pressures remain. While its presidential candidate, Vice President Lai Ching-te, has led surveys for the majority of the year, his lead is shrinking as the Kuomintang’s Hou Yu-ih gains traction. 

The KMT is more favorable to Beijing than the DPP, and the election results could significantly impact geopolitical relations between China and the West. 

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Florence Muchai

Florence is a crypto enthusiast and writer who loves to travel. As a digital nomad, she explores the transformative power of blockchain technology. Her writing reflects the limitless possibilities for humanity to connect and grow.

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