Why Taiwan is next in Web3

From Covid-19 we learned that the world breathes together and there are no borders in diseases and health despite Taiwan’s heroic effort to contain the virus. In web3, we see the world even more connected on a technological and infrastructure level across the blockchain. Historically, the challenge for domestic entrepreneurship and business in Taiwan is its small market size of 24 million people. However, web3 is, by default, open, borderless, and most importantly, permissionless.

This puts Taiwan in a perfect position in the web3 global economy with its stellar and affordable developer talent, low-cost/safe living, the government’s web3 forward-thinking initiatives, and easy entry into the vast Mandarin-speaking crypto market. Taiwan also has strong values that fit the ethos of web3 in community, freedom, and equality, being the first in Asia to legalize gay marriage, a vibrant democracy, and one of the most environmentally friendly places in the world.

But there’s a lot of work to do for us to win together on the global stage with web3. This writing will discuss the historical context, what factors set Taiwan up to be the next web3 hub of Asia, all the untapped potential, and what we need to do together to get there.


Hardware has long been the shining star of the Taiwan economy, powering all Apple chips in iPhones. Because so much effort & resources go into companies like TSMC & Foxconn and how much the global economy depends on it, Taiwan produces some of the best engineers who often end up in the Electrical Engineering field.

With the focus on hardware, you could say Taiwan missed the web2 boom (social media, gaming, mobile apps, and platforms) without enough global presence compared to our neighbors like Singapore and Korea.

Even though we still have the lead in semiconductors by a wide margin, it's a short-term view since the US, Vietnam, China, etc., are all building their semiconductor factories, and there’s no guarantee how long the moat will last.

Open Source Community

Taiwanese take pride in their communities and public goods and mix that with a large population of engineers passionate about improving civic infrastructure - communities like g0v naturally incubate. G0v’s goal is to open source the government.

From their website, “g0v is a decentralized civic tech community with information transparency, open results, and open cooperation as its core values. g0v engages in public affairs by drawing from the grassroots power of the community”. G0v started ten years ago with a track record of successful grassroots projects that foreshadowed web3 ethos before web3 that garnered international curiosity.

For example, vTaiwan, which was basically a public Discord/Discourse that crowdsourced ideas from lawmakers, activists, and civilians into an open forum for discussion that the government often incorporated suggestions to the parliament. It resolved many major high-tension subjects, such as the regulations for Uber concerning Taxis - opening up dialogue with Uber drivers, passengers, corporations, policymakers, taxi drivers, and normal civilians. It created an open and permissionless space where anyone could voice an opinion and be heard.

Other projects, such as instant fact checkers to, prevent the spread of misinformation.

Gov Budget Visualization - open-sourcing government budget and data for transparency and allowing civilians to build tools on top to help people better visualize and understand their local politics.

G0v communities pride themselves on being decentralized, action-driven, do-er mindset, openness, transparency, collaboration, and composability - an ethos that resembles a public DAO before DAOs were even a thing.

Even recently, there has been a new initiative that I’m involved with called da0, with a mission to supercharge g0v using web3 infrastructure and tools. It is a fascinating and powerful thing for an organization that operates as a DAO already to start leveraging web3 infrastructure.

and we plan to launch on 10/21 with a grand event you can watch live on YouTube as well


You can’t talk about g0v and web3 in Taiwan without mentioning Audrey Tang, the digital minister of Taiwan. Audrey was a key activist and proponent of g0v, with a legendary history in the open-source community, building Siri for Apple, among many accomplishments. Self-described as a conservative anarchist, Audrey ultimately desires the abolition of all states to preserve free public independent spaces, such as Internet properties. She wants technological advances to be applied humanistically so that all, rather than a few, can reap its benefits to the exclusion of others.

Audrey also practices radical transparency, where all meetings are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to a public website. Here’s a video of Audrey hanging out with Vitalik, recorded and posted on YouTube. This segment starts with Vitalik asking Audrey: “So how much do you know about blockchain?“ in 2016, Audrey responded that she gets paid one bitcoin/hour for consulting, but Apple couldn’t handle crypto payments yet.

On the future of technology, here’s a beautiful poem by Audrey.


Back to web3, Audrey recently started a new department in the government called the “Ministry of Digital Affairs” and what caught my eyes was the mention of web3 under Democracy Network:

With the recent ban on crypto in China, there has been an influx of web3 communities in Taiwan poised to become the most vibrant crypto community in the Mandarin market. After Token2049, a new wave of enthusiasm for Asia has just begun

Why Taiwan?

Taiwan is already home to a few well-known DeFi projects such as Perpetual Protocol, XY Finance, Cybavo, Blocto, WOO Network…etc. And has gathered a ton of public interest in the NFT space influenced by celebrity endorsements such as Jay Chou and JJ Lin and OG marketplaces like Lootex, OurSong. The vibrant artist community in Tezos and generative art. What’s here to stay, even in the bear market, is a population passionate about how web3 technology can change their lives. Taiwan is off to a great start, but there’s more we can do to take it to the next level.

A big problem in Taiwan before was the outflow of talent. With low wages, the best talent is concentrated in hardware or seeks to leave Taiwan for China, the US, or remote opportunities for higher pay. The start-up scene in Taiwan is also challenging with a small addressable market; there are only so many customers and funds to go around. This is where the nature of web3 can turn our disadvantages into advantages.

Our disadvantage of lower wages can now be an advantage to import opportunities and export talent. More and more web3 start-ups have been growing a dev team in Taiwan. And more and more Taiwanese developers are able to stay in Taiwan and work remotely for major web3 companies in this new era of remote work with borderless payments.

Taiwan might have missed the boat in web2 and faced the challenge of breaking out of Taiwan. With the government taking web3 seriously with an open and forward policy, the developer talent to locally, decades of strong open-source developer culture, and business opportunities to import. There is a path to becoming the Israel of Asia. Leveraging bottom-up and top-down incentive alignment and building a strong entrepreneur and open-minded culture with a global mindset.

For Taiwan to win in web3, there need to be bridges built between government and communities, from Taiwan to global, from zero-sum to non-zero-sum, from proprietary to composability, various incentives to synergy, and from competition to collaboration.

Bridges where information can be streamlined, movement is transparent, infrastructure secure, and power decentralized. Resources can flow and be exchanged; value is created, not extracted; intros are not formality but curiosity, ideas can fly, and communication is full of kindness and understanding.

Let’s build a free and decentralized future together with Taiwan.

Come experience the vibrant web3 community in Taiwan and bridge with us at Taipei Blockchain Week! Also please leave a comment on the dev con location proposal in Taiwan!

Subscribe to Bu Zhi DAO
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
Mint this entry as an NFT to add it to your collection.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.