South Korea’s incoming president Yoon Suk-yeol has vowed to loosen crypto regulations. The country’s banks are worried about a possible monopolisation of the big crypto exchanges, and are seeking regulatory permissions to deal with cryptocurrencies.
South Korea has the fourth-largest economy in Asia, and its citizens have embraced the new private digital assets sector with relish. According to an article in the Korea Herald, Koreans have invested 52.8 trillion won, or around a value of $43.6 billion.
The amount of value invested comes from the combined totals of all accounts at the five biggest S Korean exchanges, which comprise Upbit, Bithumb, Coineone, Korbit, and Gopax.
It appears that the S Korean banks are unhappy with the crypto monopoly enjoyed by the big 5 exchanges, leading the Korea Federation of Banks (KFB) to submit a draft of requests to be able to deal with cryptocurrencies, to the transition committee.
In the draft, is the banks’ concern that the crypto exchanges account for 90% of the cryptocurrency market share, and they are therefore asking for a licence to be able to enter the market. To match the top 5 exchanges, are the top 5 most notable banks in the KFB, which comprise KB Kookmin, Shinhan, Hana, Woori and NongHyup, as well as the online-only Kakao Bank and Kbank.
The following paragraph taken from the Korea Herald gives an idea of just how far the Korean exchanges have come in comparison with the major banks:
“Dunamu, operator of Upbit, posted a net income of 2.2 trillion won last year, with the figure growing 46-fold on-year. The news shocked onlookers, as it almost came neck-to-neck with Woori Financial Group, a major banking group here. Woori posted a net income of nearly 2.6 trillion won in the same period. Dunamu’s operating profit increased by 37 times on-year to nearly 3.3 trillion won in the cited period.”
President in waiting Yoon Suk-Yeol is promising to bring in pro crypto measures that will only add to the crypto boom in his country. Among these measures he has pledged to reduce taxes on crypto gains, something the incumbent president Moon Jae-in was trying to impose the opposite of, which were harsher taxes on investors with gains over 2.5 million won.
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