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Presidential Committee Calls for a Re-Evaluation of S. Korea’s Crypto Position

November 1, 2019
Ross Peili

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Presidential Committee Calls for a Re-Evaluation of S. Korea’s Crypto Position

After President Xi Jinping’s public announcement regarding the People’s Republic of China focusing on blockchain technology on a national scale, more experienced countries in the fintech sector are taking things to the next level, with South Korea shouting the latest cry.

It appears that China’s vision of being the global leader in distributed ledger technology sparked analogous desires in S. Korea, where a presidential committee is proposing to upscale the government’s approach towards cryptocurrencies in order to remain competitive on a global scale. 

South Korea is among the most advanced countries when it comes to blockchain comprehension and utilization, so much that the Asian country was #1 in the world in blockchain-related job positions during 2018. 






Local banking institutions and hi-tech firms in South Korea, such as Samsung are already utilizing blockchain and cryptos within their respective products and offered services, and it is said that South Korean banks were among the first to examine Ripple’s XRP as a banking solution back in 2017. 

S. Korea staying ahead of the game

The South Korean Presidential Committee is responsible for matters regarding the fourth industrial revolution or I.4.0, therefore future autonomous economic systems such as cryptocurrencies are subject to its lens. 

The PCFIR among other proposals suggested new policies and guidelines that will help the country to get used to cryptos and other forms of digital monetary exchange before other economic superpowers do. 

South Korea had previously focused its legal/regulatory power on risk assessment, basically subjecting cryptocurrencies into volatile and not volatile digital assets. 

In 2019, almost every country with at least a basic conception of the internet had to create, re-evaluate, or debate its position towards blockchain technology and digital currencies, whether public such as Bitcoin, private such as Facebook’s Libra, or government-backed such as China’s DC/EP.

South Korea was sleeping on the wheel, while local cryptocurrency exchanges were making millions worth of USD every day through taxation and other regulatory formulas that helped the country fight-off what they call ‘volatile digital assets’ and focus on the compliant companies that made a buck to the country’s economy. 

It seems that it is time now for the country to reconsider its position in the sphere, and if we’d guess based on recent events, South Korea would probably come up with its own version of a state-backed stablecoin and approach to the future of international payments, as many other countries expressed 

Chang Byung-gyu, Chairman at PCFIR said that the country needs to establish its legal status on cryptocurrencies, emphasizing on tax and accounting measures that should be taken under consideration, during his speech at the committee’s global policy conference that took place in Seoul on Oct 25.  

Conclusion

Some would say that South Korea was highly influenced by Xi Jinping’s announcement last week, but the fact is both reports happened the same day, with Xi attracting more western media coverage mostly due to the fact he is the first national leader of his waters to talk publically about the importance of blockchain technology.

South Korea was always into cryptocurrency and blockchain developments, and during a period between 2016-17, far more advanced on the matter than its neighbor China, therefore the move shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Will South Korea try to compete with China, or parallel with China is unknown, although we know that the People’s Bank of China was working on its national digital currency DC/EP for quite some time now, even if it was revealed just this year, so it is not impossible that South Korea has also an ace under its sleeve.

Nevertheless, this is just an addition to global blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption by top-shelf governments, and a relevant domino-effect by minor countries should follow throughout the year.