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Korea’s new economic chief hints at cryptocurrency tax

Hong expresses careful approach on ICOs

  • Shin Eun-dong
  • 2018-12-03 11:22:33
Korea’s new economic chief hints at cryptocurrency tax
Deputy Premier-Strategy and Finance Minister nominee Hong Nam-ki /Yonhap News

Deputy Premier-Strategy and Finance Minister nominee Hong Nam-ki has unveiled a taxation plan on cryptocurrencies and his position on initial coin offerings (ICOs).

In a written answer submitted to the National Assembly Sunday for his confirmation hearing, he said the taxation plan will be finalized in accordance with the creation and progress of the taxation infrastructure and the trend on international discussions. “A task force consisting of experts from relevant government agencies including the National Tax Service and the private sector will be formed to examine overseas examples and hammer out the taxation plan.”

Hong, who was nominated as Korea’s top economic czar to succeed Kim Dong-yeon, defined cryptocurrency as electronic signs of values issued privately rather than central banks and financial institutions and said there are about 2,000 cryptocurrencies traded globally and 160 domestically. “Cryptocurrencies are a new phenomenon and so there is no internationally agreed regulatory framework. Furthermore, there are such lingering problems as the market overheating and investor protection. Therefore, we need to be careful in building the regulatory framework,” Hong said.

With respect to ICOs now banned across the board, he also said whether to allow ICOs must be carefully considered after watching market conditions, international trends and investor protection issues. “We will determine our policy orientations on ICOs with relevant agencies after reviewing the results of the financial regulator’s market survey and getting feedback from experts,” Hong said.

Touching on the exclusion of crypto exchanges from the category of venture businesses, he said the exclusion reflects the criticism that crypto exchanges are vulnerable to illegal acts and are merely a brokerage service separate from blockchain technology. “We will do our utmost to nurture blockchain technology as nine out of the 10 business types classified as blockchain-related businesses by Statistics Korea excluding the crypto exchanges can be still acknowledged as venture companies,” Hong said. /edshin@decenter.kr


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