South Korea’s Appetite for Bitcoin About to Get Much Bigger

South Korea has announced that it is now putting measures in place for the spread of top digital currency, Bitcoin.

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South Korea’s Appetite for Bitcoin About to Get Much Bigger

South Korea has announced that it is now putting measures in place for the spread of top digital currency, Bitcoin.

The Asian country is home to a few Bitcoin exchanges including Korbit and CoinOne which are currently placed in the 22nd and 29th positions in the list of top exchanges according to a 24-hour volume rankings on CoinMarketCap. It is also home to CoinPlug which has been around since 2013 and introduced the two-way Bitcoin ATM in the country.

Getting bigger for Bitcoin

As suggested by the Chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), Yim Jong-yong,  the government now plans to create a new consortium to develop and implement Blockchain technology in the financial sector within the next year and institutionalize Bitcoin to operate better in the future financial ecosystem. As a result, there are likely to be more activities in the fintech sector and its impact is likely to resonate across other sectors.

Yim Jong-yong, at the 12th Fintech Center Demo Day event on Monday Oct. 24 said:

"The government will push for the systematization of digital currency on a full scale in tandem with a global trend in the U.S., Japan and other countries. We have built the foundation for fintech industry over the past two years. Now, we are ready to take the next step, reforming financial regulations and system.”

Regulating for the better

According to the Library of Congress, there are at present no laws in South Korea regulating the use of the Bitcoin system.  However, the president of the Bank of Korea recommended at a press conference in December 2013 that the top digital currency be regulated in the future. That time seems to be now.

Yim said, “Blockchain technology is emerging as the core infrastructure of future finance. We will go ahead with joint research and pilot projects ahead of international trends by launching a joint Blockchain consortium of the financial industry within this year. We will also reinforce the functions of the Fintech Support Center to practically back the fintech industry and expand the size of support for policy finance to three trillion won for the next three years and use the funds as priming water for fintech ecosystems.”

The FSC is the body responsible for financial policy and financial supervision in the country. It has mandates to draft and amend financial laws and regulations; monitor financial institutions; oversee capital markets; and supervise foreign exchange transactions.

Yim said the government will also offer 3 trillion won ($ 2.65 bln) in financial support  for the development of the fintech sector over the next three years.

During the event, the Korean FSC signed an MOU on cooperation in the fintech sector with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). They will exchange information about fintech-related regulations and policies, market trends and on joint projects on core technologies such as digital and mobile payment, Blockchains and big data.

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