Proponents see big opportunities for Taiwan in this nascent space. Virtual currency fever swept the globe over the past year, peaking when Bitcoin’s value hit US$19,500 in December. Since that zenith, the preeminent cryptocurrency’s value has plummeted to just $10,000, illustrating its extreme volatility. Bitcoin is the best known cryptocurrency, but over a thousand have…

Banks remain cautious about embracing full-throated digitization. Customers of Taiwan’s domestic banks sometimes feel like they’re in a time warp. Basic savings accounts often are not automatically equipped with online banking – customers have to request that service. And in many cases, the standard means of tracking account activity is a passbook that must be…

Despite Taiwan’s success in treating hepatitis, the prevalence of liver illnesses continues to rise. Taiwan has made great strides treating liver disease, especially the inflammatory condition hepatitis, which is usually caused by viral infections but may also result from alcohol or drug abuse or autoimmune diseases. If left untreated, hepatitis may permanently damage the liver,…

An ongoing study suggests environmental factors in Taiwan are contributing to a rising number of cases in otherwise healthy non-smokers.  After four doctors at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) had suddenly collapsed on the job during the previous two years – with one of them failing to recover – the hospital in the second half…

Revitalizing the creative industries could raise Taiwan’s global profile and boost the economy.  In late 2001, Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hisen’s new film Millennium Mambo opened in Paris cinemas with great fanfare. MK2, one of France’s top independent film companies, showed the film in its Paris theaters alongside big Hollywood productions such as David Lynch’s Mulholland…

The Tsai Ing-wen administration sees substantial infrastructure investment as the key to economic revival. The Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program now being implemented focuses on eight different categories. The segment devoted to rail transportation has drawn the most attention. Low domestic investment has long plagued the Taiwan economy. The insurance industry alone has accumulated NT$25 trillion…

The government plans to spend billions to expand railways nationwide. Critics ask whether it is an optimal use of resources. The high-speed rail (HSR) has pride of place among Taiwan’s contemporary infrastructure. Modeled after Japan’s shinkansen (bullet train), the HSR is fast and efficient. Running along the island’s populous West Coast at top speeds of…