South Korea heads to the polls today and regardless of the candidates, crypto is likely to be the big winner.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Lee Jae-myung and the Conservative People Power Party’s Yoon Suk-yeol are currently head to head, but many believe crypto adoption will forge ahead despite which candidate wins.
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Lee Junhaeng, Founder & CEO of GoPax Exchange, told Bloomberg: “Crypto is regarded as a legit new asset class by the global financial community. The policy drive for crypto is just going to be stronger.” An estimated 20% of South Korea’s population holds crypto.
Both presidential candidates have made pro-crypto pledges in their manifestos, marking a departure in policy from incumbent President Moon Jae-in.
Crypto was a major focus of legislation proposed in South Korea last year. A plan to tax crypto profits beyond $2,000 at a rate of 20% was postponed to 2023.
Junhaeng also noted that for people in their 20s and 30s, crypto brings some sort of “hope.”
Yoon Seok-yeol has vowed to deregulate the industry, allowing it to grow. His proposals included raising the crypto tax threshold from the current $2,030 to $41,000.
“To realize the unlimited potential of the virtual asset market, we must overhaul regulations that are far from reality and unreasonable,” he said in a virtual forum earlier this year.
One party even issued NFTs as a way to attract younger voters
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) also sought to attract younger voters by issuing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as part of their fundraising campaign.
Additionally, the party candidate made a vow to institutionally recognize the virtual asset industry as part of his election campaign.
Along with promising business opportunities in the space, he said he would investigate plans to appoint a supervisor for the digital asset market.
The crypto space has become a major battleground for politics in South Korea as another survey found that 40% of 20-to 30-year-olds have experience investing in virtual assets.
Lee wants wishes to revisit the ICO ban in the country, while Yoon wants to give more business opportunities to crypto unicorns (a privately held startup company with a value of over $1 billion).
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