Korea to Hasten Crypto Regulation After Bithumb Hack

As reported, recent Bithumb hack will fasten the process of implementing the country’s first crypto regulatory framework
20 June 2018   1280

South Korean authorities have previously announced that they will regulate the exchange of cryptocurrency on a par with banks and tighten the requirements for them. Today's hack of the Bithumb exchange will speed up the process of developing the first fully-fledged legal framework for cryptocurrencies regulating in the country, CCN reports.

On June 11, after several months of discussions, the South Korean government and local financial regulators, including the Financial Intelligence Service, came to the conclusion that it was necessary to properly regulate the crypto-currency market with an eye to protecting investors and preventing large-scale hacker attacks.

Under current regulations, there are clear limitations in preventing money laundering on crypto exchanges because the only way authorities can spot suspicious transactions is through banks. If the bill of lawmaker Jae Yoon-kyung from the Democratic Party of Korea passes, local authorities will be able to impose identical regulations on crypto exchanges that are implemented on commercial banks.
 

Spokesperson from the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit 

 Despite the absurdity of the situation, at present, the crypto exchanges in South Korea is regulated as providers of communication services. In other words, to start the exchange it's enough to have about $ 30. Since exchanges of digital currencies have this status, government agencies and financial regulators do not directly supervise their activities.

On June 18, for the first time in history, local authorities acknowledged that the South Korean government was slow to implement rules to regulate the scope of the cryptocurrency, because it feared that investors would perceive this as a permissive signal for investing in digital assets and a sign of their legitimacy.

An increasing number of officials begin to share the view of a member of the National Assembly Committee Park Yong-kin, who said in late 2017 that the government cannot simply leave cryptocurrency exchanges unregulated because it only worsens the cryptocurrency sector.

We are frustrated as well. We fully understand that the government is reluctant towards regulating the cryptocurrency market because it will inevitably lead investors to consider it as the government’s way of legitimizing the market. But, if the government leaves the cryptocurrency market unregulated, it is simply leaving it vulnerable to variou issues.
 

Park Yong-kin

Member, National Assembly Committee

Local analysts say that officials already planned to speed up the development of measures for control in the cryptocurrency sector after hacking of CoinRail exchange, and the attack on Bithumb, which neither investors nor authorities were ready, will force lawmakers and regulators to present legal acts that will put the crypto exchange on one step with the banks, in even shorter terms.

Once the law is passed, the exchange need to work with local financial authorities and comply with safety standards if they want to continue to operate in South Korea. It is expected that the intervention of the Financial Intelligence Service and the Financial Services Commission will lead to significant improvements in the data processing, security and infrastructure of such sites.

Bithumb Filed Appeal Against Korean Tax Office

Looks like the korean exchange doesn't really want to pay an additional tax worth $67 000 000
16 January 2020   335

The South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has filed a complaint against the National Tax Service (NTS) because of the requirement to pay additional taxes for the transactions of its foreign customers.

The company claims that cryptocurrencies do not have an official status in the territory of South Korea, which is why the authorities cannot have sufficient reasons to levy any taxes.

The tax court will have to decide within 90 days whether to retain or withdraw from Bithumb the obligation to pay the $ 69.1 million tax that was assigned to it by NTS in November. The Office declares that the withdrawal of income from accounts in Korean won by foreign residents is a taxable event. It is assumed that the exchange itself had to withhold tax from its foreign customers.

We paid the full amount and have since been preparing for arguments. We believe we will be given a chance to clarify our stance in court.

 

Bithumb

 The ministry has its own position on this issue.

Bitcoin under the current law is not an asset. It is clear and simple. The Ministry of Economy and Finance already made that clear. The NTS pushing ahead with the tax imposition is baseless and groundless, especially since it is still awaiting the ministry opinion on the same matter it sought again.

 

Choi Hwoa-in

Adviser to Financial Supervisory Service

According to the expert, the NTS maneuver is well thought out and aimed at starting to levy a tax on income that is currently not taxable.

We cannot comment on the ongoing matter. We will await the judgment from the Tax Tribunal.

 

NTS

Earlier, Bithumb was ordered to pay an additional $ 67 million in tax.