In South Korea, major financial service and investment firms are preparing to jump into the crypto industry. A report from a local news outlet claims regulations in the country could be about to change following the election of Yun Seok-Yeol as President.
Seok-Yeol is a conservative from South Korea’s People Power Party. He ran on a campaign that promised more economic stability for all social classes, a shift in the diplomatic relationship with China, and the implementation of pro-crypto and Bitcoin policies.
In that sense, domestic securities firms in South Korea have begun the process of obtaining a license from the country’s regulator to launch crypto exchange platforms. These companies are expected to receive their licenses by some point in Q3 to Q4, 2022.
The report claims that at least seven major securities firms are pursuing preliminary approval from South Korea’s regulator. The report cites an official from one of the firms confirming that “necessary discussions are being finalized”.
One of these firms is Samsung Securities, the financial arm of the Samsung Group, the parent company of the tech giant. The firm is currently exploring a way to enter the crypto industry with a security token business on a trading platform.
The report shared few details on the potential upcoming offering or the platforms, but Samsung Securities might be looking into the best way to provide South Korean customers with cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and possibly tokenized securities.
In 2021, the firm tried to build a team of experienced individuals in the blockchain industry, the development of smart contracts, and crypto exchange platforms. The report claims that Samsung Securities was unsuccessful.
In addition to this firm, Mirae Asset Securities will launch a crypto asset business. The firm established a subsidiary called Mirae Asset Consulting and has begun the process of hiring personnel. The platform will allegedly offer Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and NFTs.
South Korea Ease Crypto Regulations? Other Countries Might Follow
The South Korean government, under new leadership, is working on a legislation project to provide the nascent industry with a clear regulatory framework. Called the “Virtual Currency Business Rights Act”, major securities firms in the country are preparing for its approval.
The act is supposed to clarify which digital assets are classified as securities and which are non-security tokens. The new classification will also distinguish between digital asset custody services, wallet services, and others. More details are necessary to determine the potential implications of this project.
However, the act seems like the right step in the direction of clearing the air for the nascent asset class in South Korea, taking it out of a grey zone. Time will tell if its effects will be positive in practice.
According to a report from Coinbase, South Korea is one of the G20 countries with crypto regulations underway. As seen below, almost every country, except for the U.S., the U.K., India, and Canada, is working on new regulations for digital assets.