• Don’t expect South Korean banks to rush to issue real-name accounts to exchanges
  • South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchange industry awaits a major shakeup
  • Executive ordinance will likely make exemptions for projects like DApps

The recent passing by South Korean lawmakers of amended financial laws to bring cryptocurrency into the mainstream might be welcome news to the blockchain industry.

The Korean-language blockchain news outlet The BChain reports, however, that there’s still some work to be done.

Despite the passage of the amended bills, individual banks are unlikely to start issuing real-name bank accounts like a Pez dispenser, figuratively speaking. That said, the amended legislation has made it more likely that IBK Bank will renew its partnership with Upbit.

And as we’ve reported here before, the high cost of ISMS certification will likely drive many smaller exchanges out of the market, reorganizing the crypto industry around the major exchanges.

Meanwhile, the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has said it would include in the amended bill’s executive ordinance the scope of virtual assets — i.e., cryptocurrency — and the businesses that deal in them and the conditions and procedures for FIU registration, the issuance by banks of real-name bank accounts to digital asset service providers, among other things.

The BChain also believes that the executive ordinance will also include which businesses will be exempt from the regulations.

For example, DApp projects that don’t meditate Korean Won-cryptocurrency transactions may be exempted from the requirements to get real-name bank accounts or ISMS certification.

On the other hand, over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading entities will likely need to comply with the real-name account and/or ISMS provisions.

The BChain also reports that the FIU and University-Industry Cooperation Group of Kyung Hee University have been researching how to bring virtual assets like cryptocurrency into compliance with FATF guidelines. The two institutions are likely to issue a report at the end of March.

Also in the Korea blockchain space…

  • South Korea: Nonghyup Bank Introduces Digital Identities
    (By Luke Fitzpatrick, Forbes, March 9)
    Nonghyup’s blockchain-powered “mobile employee ID” got a mention in Forbes. Luke Fitzpatrick writes, “2020 is shaping up to be a big year for blockchain technology in South Korea. It will be interesting to see what real-world use cases develop as these corporate powerhouses have the technology, resources, and ability to drive adoption where needed.”
  • South Korean Gaming Giant Unveils Two Mobile Blockchain Games
    (By Tim Alper, CryptoNews, March 9)
    The blockchain arm of South Korean gaming giant WeMade is releasing two new blockchain games, Bird Tornado for WEMIX and Aqua for WEMIX. WEMIX is WeMade’s blockchain gaming platform. MeMade’s blockchain gaming company is a member of the Klaytn network’s governance council.
  • South Korea Embraced Did Based On EOSIO
    (By Steve Anderrson, The Coin Republic, March 11)
    South Korea’s Military Manpower Administration has launched a decentralized identity system based on the open source blockchain protocol EOSIO. Steve Anderrson writes, It is for the first time they are using a DID system based on a blockchain that is adopted by any public institution, and if proved to be successful, it could serve as an example for future attempts.”
  • Bithumb Partners With Chainalysis Amid Tightening Korean Regulations
    (By Samuel Haig, CoinTelegraph, March 11)
    Major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has partnered with crypto forensics firm Chainanylsis to comply with the country’s recently amended Financial Transactions Reporting Act. Under the partnership, Bithumb will reportedly use Chainalysis’s “Reactor” investigations tool to examine suspicious activity on its platform.