The National Assembly Research Service (NARS), South Korea’s equivalent of the Congressional Research Service of the United States, says the country must consider recognizing cryptocurrency as financial products and adopting regulations to manage them.

In a report published last week, NARS advised policymakers to refer to Japan’s regulatory regime.

It said that like in Japan, South Korean users of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency exchanges have suffered economic losses from hacking and price manipulation. With systemic user protections lacking, however, the report said Seoul must consider adopting regulations to protect cryptocurrency users by referring to Japan’s example.

In particular, NARS said South Korea should adopt protections such as mandating that exchanges secure user assets securely, requiring that they have sufficient resources to cover their obligations to users and banning unfair transactions, such as Japan has done through recent amendments to its payments and financial product laws.

Also noteworthy is NARS’s call for South Korea to emulate the Japanese financial authority’s decision to officially recognize cryptocurrency as a financial product. Tokyo’s decision was underpinned by a recognition that as there was already brisk trading of virtual asset derivatives, it would be better to manage them as a form of financial product rather than banning them.

NARS said policymakers should be careful as recognizing cryptocurrency as a financial product could be taken as giving it official certification, but that they should nonetheless consider plans to adopt the same kinds of regulations that Japan has.

Also in the Korean blockchain space…

(By Rakshitha Narasimhan, AMBCrypto, May 2)

Actually, this is mostly a rehash of of what the ICON Foundation’s Min Kim recently said on Nugget News, which you can see here:


Kim noted that there’s still a lot of confusion in the space, but that regulations in the pipeline will improve the situation. “We can establish them more efficiently within South Korea,” he said. “I think we’ll start to see more and more legal funds being created that are going to be making investments into crypto projects in the future. So, Korea is in the waiting period; more projects and entrepreneurs will come into play.”

(By Yeoh Siew Hoon, WiT, April 27)

WebinTravel looks at how South Korea’s travel industry is utilizing technology to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. “Blockchain can improve the travel business in two ways,” motel booking platform Yanolja’s Online Business & Corporate Strategy CEO Jong Yoon Kim told WebinTravel. “One, it enables direct communication between provider and consumer – and in this case, Yanolja is the provider. Two, it minimises marketing costs – Tidesquare and Yanolja, we spend a lot on customer acquisition. If we can make our coin interchangeable, it means we can also share customers – so we don’t have to spend so much on Google or Facebook.” Of course, Yanolja is also a member of the MyID Alliance.

(By Adriana Hamacher, Decrypt, April 27)

Staff at Coindesk jokes that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has moved his Bitcoin stash. Traders and crypto journalists go on high alert. David Gerard of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain makes a pretty good crack about this.

(By Felipe Erazo, Cointelegraph, April 27)

Investigators have managed to track at least 40 people who are suspected of using cryptocurrency to join a Telegram room where videos of rape and sexual exploitation of minors were shared. If you read Korean, CoinDesk Korea’s Park Geun-mo has written a very interesting piece on the cat-and-mouse game between criminals using cryptocurrency on one hand and investigators and security experts on the other.