South Korea is pushing legislation that would bring cryptocurrency and blockchain technology into more mainstream territory.
South Korea Is Looking to Change
At one time, it can be argued that cryptocurrency was very mainstream in the region of South Korea. The country – pre-2018 – accounted for roughly one quarter of the world’s total cryptocurrency transactions, so to say that the nation was a digital hotspot would be something of an understatement.
However, as more crime occurred throughout the cryptocurrency space, South Korea took on an attitude more reminiscent of what we saw (and still see somewhat) in China. The nation’s regulators took steps to ensure initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other funding methods involving digital tokens were outlawed as a means of keeping people and their money protected.
Now, South Korea is something of a “crypto wasteland” – a region where digital finance once made a solid mark but has died out when compared to where it was.
Some members of the Korean government are looking to change all this. The Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PCFIR) has issued a new report suggesting that the government allow the “institutionalization of cryptocurrencies.” This would mean that cryptocurrencies could be offered through platforms like venture funds, retirement services and similar financial enterprises as a means of giving people more opportunities to learn and invest in crypto.
This wouldn’t be a bad idea considering how often South Korea has been hit in the past by malicious actors looking to take advantage of its lagging regulations and security protocols. One of the most recent examples includes the popular cryptocurrency exchange Up Bit, which suffered a hack last November that saw nearly $50 million ether funds go up in flames.
Since then, the company has taken certain steps to ensure problems and cyberattacks remain limited. One such step involves ensuring that all South Korea crypto account holders must open new wallets using their real names. This guarantees that the exchanges have the right identification data for each customer and lessens the opportunities for bad actors.
However, these are steps designed to bring certain limits to the crypto space. This new report shows how crypto can be expanded upon in a nation that seems to have a lot of love and respect for digital assets but doesn’t always know what to do with them.
We Need Custodians at Home
In a statement, the Committee explained:
The Korean government has to gradually allow institutional investors to deal in crypto assets and promote over the counter (OTC) desks dedicated to institutional investors’ trade.
The organization wants to provide business licenses to ensure that national custodians can be established. As it stands, South Korea is largely dependent on foreign custodians to govern and handle cryptocurrencies, and the country would like to become more autonomous.