What has happened?
A Taiwanese official has urged the government to explore different ways to tackle the influence of the cryptocurrency market on the island's financial stability.
What does this mean?
Speaking at a seminar hosted by the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance, Vice-President Shi Junji discussed the financial implications of cryptocurrencies and the potential development of regulation.
According to a government report, Shi Junji said that, with the rapid growth and worldwide popularity of virtual currencies, the Taiwanese government should develop policies to deal with their impact on the financial sector.
He explained that the market value of virtual currencies is estimated to be about $500 billion, with bitcoin's market capitalisation being worth $160 billion when its transaction price is worth $10,000.
This is twice as much as the Taiwanese government total budget and is equivalent to one-third of the island's foreign exchange reserves.
He pointed out that the price surge of bitcoin has made many consider cryptocurrencies a bubble, but it was likely to become the biggest bubble of all time, but the price surge in itself was not necessarily indicative of a bubble.
Shi used to be the chairman of the Taiwan Financial Management Committee from 2016 to 2017.
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