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31 March 2020

Prepare for Liftoff — South Korea’s Crypto Regulation Ignites in 2019

Prepare for Liftoff — South Korea’s Crypto Regulation Ignites in 2019

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South Korea remains the third-largest crypto exchange market by volume, just behind the United States and Japan.

Despite that, throughout the past three years, the government of South Korea has opted against fully regulating the local crypto market.

In the second half of 2019, the government of South Korea started to work on several bills that would further legitimize the crypto sector and allow it to evolve into an established industry.

Controversy and outrage regarding the government’s lack of direction in regulating the cryptocurrency market hit when former Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said that a bill to ban cryptocurrency exchanges was coming.

The government clarified that it does not plan to enforce a ban on cryptocurrency trading or exchanges.

After almost a full year of silence from the government of South Korea, a new bill that would provide cryptocurrencies a legal foundation in the years to come was pushed forward.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance said that it plans to move forward with imposing taxes on cryptocurrency trading and is in the process of creating a bill for it.

The local media criticized the controversial move of the National Tax Service when it hit Bithumb crypto exchange with a whopping $70 million bill for trades it facilitated for foreign users before the ban on foreigners trading cryptocurrencies in South Korea was imposed by the government.

Taxes around crypto and a framework for the National Tax Service to collect taxes with a clear legal basis are likely to be the main narrative of cryptocurrency regulation in South Korea over the next two years.

For most activities regarding cryptocurrencies such as trading, the government has been relatively lenient, even with the ruling Democratic Party’s cautious stance toward crypto regulation.

Thus, the most widely utilized crypto exchanges in South Korea do not and have not suffered from a lack of banking service support

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