In the IT Chosun, the IT news site of South Korea’s influential Chosun Ilbo daily, reporter Kim Yeon-ji gives voice to the exasperation many companies feel about the Korean government’s reluctance to revise its blockchain and cryptocurrency regulations.

For example, one well-known overseas blockchain startup that had been planning to enter the Korean market recently decided to target the relatively more crypto-friendly Japanese market instead. An official from the company said they’d come to Korea after hearing that Korea’s big companies are really interested in blockchain technology, but during meetings, it was clear the companies were being cautious. The official heard a lot of complaining that Seoul’s regulations are unable to keep up with the pace of technological development.

As Korean companies hesitate with one eye on the government, global companies such as AWS and IBM are releasing services and gaining command of the market. 

The blockchain industry believes that if you really want to protect consumers, you should bring cryptocurrency transactions inside the institutional fold. Kim contrasts the failure of Korea’s parliament to pass revisions to the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information with the Chinese parliament’s recent passing of an encryption law.

The article also cites the Bank of Korea’s marked lack of interest in issuing a central bank digital currency (see more on that in the links below). This contrasts with a recent survey by the IMF that indicated significant interest in CBDCs overseas.

Now, The Iconist would be amiss if we didn’t point out that IT Chosun’s parent newspaper tends to be critical of the current South Korean administration. And as we pointed out last week, the government and ruling party seem to be well aware that the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information needs to change.

Also in the Korean blockchain space…

(By Kim Jin-bae, BlockMedia, Nov. 4)

The People’s Daily — the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China — reportedly ran a column on Monday that reaffirmed the country’s existing position on blockchain and cryptocurrency, to wit, Beijing is keen to encourage blockchain technology, but restrictions will continue on the use of cryptocurrency within China and ICOs will remain banned. 

(By Richard Meyer, CoinDesk, Oct. 29)

The Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) will provide some USD 9 million in support to about 10 blockchain-related projects in 2020. What they won’t be doing, though, is supporting crypto projects, including crypto exchanges. In 2019, KISA provided about USD 11 million to 12 projects.

(By Yoon Young-sil, BusinessKorea, Nov. 1)

With recommendations from the FATF set to go into effect in June 2020, local blockchain and crypto projects are not only scrambling to implement AML solutions, but also using said solutions as a selling point.

(From Klaytn itself, Nov. 1)

Kakao’s Klaytn blockchain projects has unveiled eight new BApps, which the rest of us all call DApps. That brings Klaytn’s list of BApps to 17.

(By Luke Fitzpatrick, Forbes, Nov. 1)

Tron has apparently been integrated into Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore, meaning Galaxy S10 users can now access TRX and Tron DApps with their phones. Don’t get too excited, though. The Tron-Samsung deal may seem to be groundbreaking for crypto usage adoption,” writes Luke Fitzpatrick at Forbes. “But, when taking into consideration South Korea’s stance on crypto–the deal creates more questions than answers.”

(By Richard Meyer, CoinDesk, Oct. 31)

In case it wasn’t already clear, the Bank of Korea isn’t really interested in adopting a central bank digital currency (CBDC). This time, the bank is saying that developed countries don’t really do CBDCs, and those that are creating them — such as in Scandinavia — are doing so for very specific goals. The BOK noted developing countries such as China might find them useful, though.