As they say, nothing is certain except death and taxes.
And with that, South Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance decided Sunday to include in revisions to next year’s tax law provisions to levy income taxes on income generated by cryptocurrency transactions.
The Korean-language blockchain news site TokenPost quotes a ministry official as saying the government is preparing a basis to tax virtual assets such as Bitcoin.
Though some Koreans made a killing at the end of 2017 through cryptocurrency mining or trading, their earnings were not taxed.
Naturally enough, this has generated controversy, and a number of officials – including the finance minister and the head of the national tax service – have said they would consider taxing cryptocurrency income or were already in the process of building the taxation infrastructure.
The unclear legal status of cryptocurrency and other virtual assets, however, hindered efforts to write or revise the necessary tax laws.
But recent movement in parliamentary efforts to revise the Financial Transactions Reporting Act and the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC)’s defining of cryptocurrency as an intangible asset in September have made things easier for the tax authorities.
A ministry official said with the IFRIC issuing its guideline and the parliament currently discussing the Financial Transactions Reporting Act revisions, the ministry decided it would be efficient to revise the tax laws at the same time.
In fact, the government is saying it plans to revise tax laws to tax cryptocurrencies regardless of whether the parliament eventually passes the Financial Transaction Reporting Act revisions.
According to a government official quoted by the TokenPost, the authorities have yet to decide whether to tax cryptocurrency income as capital gains or other income. Capital gains would get taxed on each and every transactions, while taxes on other income get levied once a year.
Also in the Korean blockchain space…
(By Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review, Dec. 5)
MIke Orcutt looks at the Ethereum Foundation’s Virgil Griffith’s legal plight resulting from his presentation at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference in North Korea. And for what it’s worth, another attendee at the conference thinks the charges against Griffith are overblown.
(Yonhap News, Dec. 6)
The Initial DID Association will launch a mobile app next year that offers decentralized identification service. The association, which represents 11 major Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics, is one of three major DID initiatives in Korea. One of the other two is ICONLOOP’s MyID Alliance of course.
(By Joeri Cant, Cointelegraph, Dec. 3)
Korean startup Bloom Technology claims its Locus Chain technology has dramatically cut blockchain transaction processing times. “The company reportedly conducted a public test with 635 participating nodes to reveal the transaction speed of the Locus Chain technology,” reports Cointelegraph. “The results showed that a single blockchain transaction took between 0.13-0.23 seconds.”
(Yonhap, Dec. 5)
In addition to joining forces on 5G roaming services, the two internet giants will cooperate to commercialize “B.Link,” a blockchain-based real-time roaming charge system. According to KT and Yonhap News, the system “can self-analyze roaming data from the two carriers and can process roaming charges on a real-time basis, allowing the companies to save costs and time.”
(By Choi Moon-hee, BusinessKorea, Dec. 4)
Sure, Korean blockchain might be having a tough time getting approval domestically, but they are apparently doing OK overseas.
(Press release, Dec. 3)
Major Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is keeping up with the country’s evolving regulatory environment by developing the Value Network Domain Name System (VDNS), an identity authentication system