Bitcoin in South Korea

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Bitcoin in South Korea

South Korea is renowned for its rich history and amazing economic and technological success. The country is ranked as one of the G-20 major economies and, informally, as one of the four “Asian Tigers.” South Korea has made especial progress in the manufacturing of electronics and vehicles, being home to industry front runners such as Samsung (which is fabricating Bitcoin mining chips), LG Electronics, Kia, and Hyundai. South Korea also boasts world class high-tech cities such as Seoul, the capital.

It’s not surprising that cryptocurrency has thrived in such an advanced and wealthy country, given that internet penetration and financial sophistication are some of the major drivers of crypto adoption. What is surprising is that the crypto boom came rather late to South Korea; after the US, Europe and China were already onboard, South Koreans only really got into Bitcoin in a big way around 2014. Between 2019 and 2020 however, South Korea was ranked 17th for crypto adoption out of 154 countries.

In 2018, South Korea had one of the largest markets for cryptocurrencies in the world, ranked just behind the United States and Japan, which respectively have about 6 and 2.5 times South Korea’s population. South Korea’s massive per capita crypto adoption is said to result from one-third of all salaried workers being active in crypto trading and / or investment. Naturally, most of these market participants are involved with Bitcoin.

During the 2018 bear market, the troubles for Bitcoiners in South Korea were compounded by some stringent government regulatory actions. Trading in cryptocurrency, particularly ICOs, was significantly disrupted by South Korea’s tough new regulations, and ICOs are still banned in 2021. However, it seems that the government is starting to ease its restrictions as we head into the third quarter of 2018. It seems that the Korean blockchain revolution is set to continue, albeit at a more restrained pace.

This article aims to inform South Koreans as to their current regulatory environment in regards to cryptocurrency, as well as explain how to buy Bitcoin using a credit or debit card from within South Korea.

Government Regulations

South Korea is renowned for its rich history and amazing economic and technological success. The country is ranked as one of the G-20 major economies and, informally, as one of the four “Asian Tigers.” South Korea has made especial progress in the manufacturing of electronics and vehicles, being home to industry front runners such as Samsung (which is fabricating Bitcoin mining chips), LG Electronics, Kia, and Hyundai. South Korea also boasts world class high-tech cities such as Seoul, the capital.

It’s not surprising that cryptocurrency has thrived in such an advanced and wealthy country, given that internet penetration and financial sophistication are some of the major drivers of crypto adoption. What is surprising is that the crypto boom came rather late to South Korea; after the US, Europe and China were already onboard, South Koreans only really got into Bitcoin in a big way around 2014. Between 2019 and 2020 however, South Korea was ranked 17th for crypto adoption out of 154 countries.

In 2018, South Korea had one of the largest markets for cryptocurrencies in the world, ranked just behind the United States and Japan, which respectively have about 6 and 2.5 times South Korea’s population. South Korea’s massive per capita crypto adoption is said to result from one-third of all salaried workers being active in crypto trading and / or investment. Naturally, most of these market participants are involved with Bitcoin.

During the 2018 bear market, the troubles for Bitcoiners in South Korea were compounded by some stringent government regulatory actions. Trading in cryptocurrency, particularly ICOs, was significantly disrupted by South Korea’s tough new regulations, and ICOs are still banned in 2021. However, it seems that the government is starting to ease its restrictions as we head into the third quarter of 2018. It seems that the Korean blockchain revolution is set to continue, albeit at a more restrained pace.

This article aims to inform South Koreans as to their current regulatory environment in regards to cryptocurrency, as well as explain how to buy Bitcoin using a credit or debit card from within South Korea.

Forthcoming Taxes on Bitcoin in South Korea

South Korea announced in January of 2021 that they intend to level a 20% tax rate on all profits derived from crypto trading. This new tax regime, which has been in the works for several years, is expected to be introduced in 2023. Traders are advised to prepare accordingly.

Official South Korean Blockchain Adoption

South Korea’s largest telephone company, the KT Corporation, is set to launch its own blockchain-powered network. This blockchain layer is set to be added on top of their existing network. The company says this will bring a new level of security and transparency to its network.  SK Telecom introduced its blockchain-based system for storing government certificates in October of 2020.

Similarly, the Korea Housing Finance Corporation and the Korea Internet & Security Agency have decided to collaborate on blockchain document storage. This system will manage documents for mortgages and other loans, while providing protection for customer data and improved efficiency. 

The administrative district of Yeongdeungpo-gu has also based its Proposal Evaluation System on blockchain workings. This system is set to improve the security and integrity of administrative work while speeding up results and proposal reviews.

These developments hint that the government seeks to embrace rather than extinguish blockchain technology.

Buying Your Bitcoins

If you’re in South Korea and wish to get involved in cryptocurrency, Coinmama allows you to purchase bitcoin using your VISA or MasterCard debit or credit card. Just follow these simple steps.

Conclusion

We’ll have to wait and see what regulations the South Korean government has in store for cryptocurrencies. However, a country so technologically sophisticated seems like the perfect incubator for this technology.

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