South Korea To Accept Cryptocurrency Payments Henceforth

BTC Wires: South Korea has been in the news recently for both wrong and right reasons. Amidst all the bad press that the country is getting for the mass protest of women against illicit filming with spy cameras, the news about cryptocurrency acceptance does little to redeem its image.

Although it is a country that has banned ICOs, it looks like the regulations on cryptos will be loosened based on the G20’s efforts to come up with uniform regulations. The deadlines has been set as July for this news standards to be announced.

The country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) said that it is not averse to cryptocurrencies. Back in May, the FSC had stated that “It’s almost certain that cryptocurrencies will be classified as assets and the main issue will be centered on how to regulate them properly under the unified frame that will be agreed upon between G-20 nations. Given the current stance, this isn’t good, but we will step up efforts to improve things”, which they have done. According to news sources, they have made revisions to address money laundering and other illegal activities.

South Korea is currently in its early stages of developing its regulations and needs international understanding and cooperation for the same. Uniform rules can sometimes be extremely difficult to come up with since different government agencies present different assessments.

Previously, cryptocurrencies was considered “non-financial products” on account of their speculative properties, by the government. What the country needs is to place greater emphasis on blockchain technology once it gains a better understanding of the “possible flipside” of cryptocurrency trading, according to a government official.

A plan has been presented by the country’s National Assembly which would allow domestic ICOs, previously banned. Hong Eui-rak, a representative from the country’s ruling Democratic Party, said legislators are currently developing a law to remove the ban. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance is still talking to the National Tax Agency with the hopes of coming up with a tax plan for cryptocurrencies.

South Korea has recently recognized crypto exchanges as regulated financial institutions. The government agreed to categorize the exchanges as “cryptocurrency exchange and brokerages,” which would enable platforms to do business with local government support. The new framework could bring stricter KYC and AML policies which could be difficult for customers.

Kim Byeoing-young, a Seoul based technology reporter, predicted that interest in cryptocurrencies will double. He also feels that once cryptocurrencies can be used like like regular currencies instead of as speculative investments, the laws will become better.

The FSC has called for the investigation of three big banks that have provided virtual accounts and banking services for the exchanges.