South Korean Bankers Call for Definitive Crypto Regulations 

South Korean Bankers Call for Definitive Crypto Regulations 

South Korea is one of the most progressive countries globally as far as crypto acceptance is concerned. With the country expressing more support for digital assets and blockchain technology, many in its traditional finance space have called for definite laws to be implemented. 

According to a press release published earlier this week, commercial bank representatives and members of the Korean National Assembly have called for the creation of “virtual asset business laws” in the country. 

The meeting, tagged the “National Assembly Seminar for the Virtual Asset Business Law,” was hosted by Rep. Kim Byeong-wook, the National Policy Committee secretary. Delio, a crypto lending firm, sponsored the meeting through its decentralized finance (DeFi) subsidiary, DUCATO. Participants explained that creating progressive laws would help ensure a developed digital finance industry and boost companies’ revenues.  

In his opening speech, Byeong-wook pointed out that the National Assembly should consider establishing a system and law for developing virtual assets and other related industries. Simultaneously, the laws should also ensure investor protection. Kim Tae-nyeon, the floor leader of the ruling Democratic Party, shared the same sentiment, explaining that blockchain technology has become a significant part of both private and public life. 

Tae-nyeon highlighted the Korean New Deal, which aims to apply blockchain to various sectors of the economy – including social welfare, energy, and digital identity insurance. The deal was introduced in July, and it includes steps from the National Assembly to revise laws for digital currency development. 

Most commercial bank representatives pointed out that digital asset legislation will help provide a clear path for their involvement in the fledgling crypto industry. Jang Hyeon-gi, the head of Digital Research and Development at Shinhan Bank, explained that progressive laws would give banks rules for participating in the DeFi industry.

Shinhan Bank already showed a positive approach to cryptocurrencies, with the bank announcing months back that it would launch “crypto asset services” in collaboration with fellow banking giant Woori Bank. As local news sources reported at the time, both banks had announced their crypto initiatives in response to an amendment in the country’s Special Financial Transactions Information Act. 

The Act plans to change legislation surrounding digital assets from 2021, making them more accessible to investors countrywide. Expecting a significant investor influx from next year, the banks immediately moved to corner the market. 

While there’s anticipation for new policies, the aforementioned Special Payments Act is also raising some eyebrows. According to a Digital Today report, the Act includes know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) that contradict the existing Personal Information Protection Act. The latter stipulates that companies can’t request some information from citizens – including their social security numbers. 

While there are still a few months to the law’s implementation, it will be beneficial to provide some clarity as soon as possible. A new regulatory framework will also address this issue, and several others.



Square Moves $50 Million in Company Reserves to Bitcoin 

Square Moves $50 Million in Company Reserves to Bitcoin 

Institutional cryptocurrency adoption has been on the rise this year, with companies shifting more of their assets into crypto. The latest firm to jump on this train is Square, the payment processor headed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Earlier today, the Silicon Valley firm announced that it had acquired 4,709 BTC, worth about $50 million at press time. Describing the move, Square explained its belief that cryptocurrencies are a tool for economic empowerment that allows everyone to participate in a borderless economic system.

Considering that the firm focuses on improving financial inclusion as well, the crypto purchase was merely in line with it. The firm added that the Bitcoins purchased represented about one percent of its total asset at the end of the second quarter.

Square has been one of the companies to benefit immensely from its involvement with cryptocurrencies. The financial services firm announced in Q2 that it made $875 million in revenue from Bitcoin trading on Cash App, its crypto-focused subsidiary.

The quarterly performances showed a 600 percent increase in revenues and a 710 percent surge in gross profit over the same period in 2019. Gross profits also surged 150 percent compared to the year’s first quarter. Bitcoin-related business represented approximately 2.85 percent of the company’s entire pross profit for the quarter, which stood at $597 million. 

However, the Cash App Bitcoin business also soaked up $858 million in quarterly expenses, bringing the entire division’s profit to $17 million. Active users on the Cash App now amount to 30 million as well. 

The Silicon Valley firm is joining an extensive list of firms to convert significant portions of their assets to Bitcoin. Most prominent has been business intelligence solutions provider MicroStrategy. 

Based in Virginia, MicroStrategy has been on a purchasing spree over the past few weeks.  In July, the tech giant confirmed in a press release that it had switched its primary asset base to Bitcoin, purchasing21,454 BTC for $250 million. 

The company told the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) days later that it could swill purchase even more of the asset, and it made good on that promise when chief executive Michael Saylor announced the acquisition of an additional 16,796 BCT for $175 million. With about $425 million now in Bitcoin, MicroStrategy has put itself in an excellent position to hedge with the asset. 

However, the primary institutional driver remains Grayscale Investments. Grayscale is the largest crypto-focused asset management firm globally, with over $5 billion in assets under management. Two weeks back, data from crypto analytics firm confirmed that it had added another 17,000 BTC to its reserves, at a price of about $186 million.  

Grayscale now holds a total of 449,900 coins under management – worth about $4,9 billion when taking one BTC to be worth $10,890. This effectively means that the company holds 2.4 percent of the total Bitcoin market capitalization.

The total supply of Bitcoins has a cap of 21 million. With a circulating supply of 18.5 million, only about 2.5 million BTC tokens left to mine. Even if Grayscale stopped its purchasing spree today, it would still control about 2 percent of the total BTC supply. 



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Author: Fri Oct 9 , 2020

South Korean Bankers Call for Definitive Crypto Regulations 

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