China will soon be unveiling its state-backed cryptocurrency and it has left no stones unturned in publicizing it. However, looking at the few nations embracing blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the South Korean Presidential Office’s 4th Industrial Revolution Commission has now endorsed pro-crypto sentiment, according to a local media report.
The Presidential Commission suggested that the government allow financial institutions to launch cryptocurrency-related services, for instance, Bitcoin derivatives, for the institutionalization of cryptocurrencies. The report added,
“As digital finance is emerging as a major keyword for both the financial sector and the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, the commission advised the Korean government to allow financial companies to release futures products based on Bitcoin prices, as the U.S. financial authorities did.”
Along with the Futures product, Korea will be looking forward to introducing its custody solution to avoid reliance on foreign custodians to handle crypto-assets. In a document published by the Industrial Revolution Commission, Bitcoin was recommended to be listed directly on the Korean Exchange [KRX]. The Commission noted,
“Participants in the traditional capital market such as securities firms and banks should develop and introduce domestic custody solutions to handle crypto assets so that the Korean crypto-asset custody market will not depend on foreign countries.”
Sensing the urge to join the crypto-revolution, the Commission proposed that the government introduce business licenses and/or guidelines for cryptocurrency exchanges, while integrating crypto-related products into the financial system in the mid-to-long-term. The Commission reiterated the need for crypto-businesses in the country to flourish by stating that as of May 2019, daily trade in cryptocurrencies had reached over 80 trillion [worth $69 billion]. “It is no longer possible to stop crypto-asset trade,” the Commission noted.
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The government has also been advised to allow financial institutions to handle crypto and support the development of South Korean custody technologies. It concluded by stating,
“The Korean government has to gradually allow institutional investors to deal in crypto assets and promote over the counter (OTC) desks dedicated to institutional investors’ trade.”