South Korean Bankers Call for Definitive Crypto Regulations Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 22 July 2021 South Korea is one of the most progressive countries globally as far as crypto acceptance is concerned. With the country expressing more support for digital assets and blockchain technology, many in its traditional finance space have called for definite laws to be implemented. Establishing the Industry Once and For All According to a press release published earlier this week, commercial bank representatives and members of the Korean National Assembly have called for the creation of “virtual asset business laws” in the country. The meeting, tagged the “National Assembly Seminar for the Virtual Asset Business Law,” was hosted by Rep. Kim Byeong-wook, the National Policy Committee secretary. Delio, a crypto lending firm, sponsored the meeting through its decentralized finance (DeFi) subsidiary, DUCATO. Participants explained that creating progressive laws would help ensure a developed digital finance industry and boost companies’ revenues. In his opening speech, Byeong-wook pointed out that the National Assembly should consider establishing a system and law for developing virtual assets and other related industries. Simultaneously, the laws should also ensure investor protection. Kim Tae-nyeon, the floor leader of the ruling Democratic Party, shared the same sentiment, explaining that blockchain technology has become a significant part of both private and public life. Tae-nyeon highlighted the Korean New Deal, which aims to apply blockchain to various sectors of the economy – including social welfare, energy, and digital identity insurance. The deal was introduced in July, and it includes steps from the National Assembly to revise laws for digital currency development. Banks are Itching to Get Into Crypto Most commercial bank representatives pointed out that digital asset legislation will help provide a clear path for their involvement in the fledgling crypto industry. Jang Hyeon-gi, the head of Digital Research and Development at Shinhan Bank, explained that progressive laws would give banks rules for participating in the DeFi industry. Shinhan Bank already showed a positive approach to cryptocurrencies, with the bank announcing months back that it would launch “crypto asset services” in collaboration with fellow banking giant Woori Bank. As local news sources reported at the time, both banks had announced their crypto initiatives in response to an amendment in the country’s Special Financial Transactions Information Act. The Act plans to change legislation surrounding digital assets from 2021, making them more accessible to investors countrywide. Expecting a significant investor influx from next year, the banks immediately moved to corner the market. While there’s anticipation for new policies, the aforementioned Special Payments Act is also raising some eyebrows. According to a Digital Today report, the Act includes know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) that contradict the existing Personal Information Protection Act. The latter stipulates that companies can’t request some information from citizens – including their social security numbers. While there are still a few months to the law’s implementation, it will be beneficial to provide some clarity as soon as possible. A new regulatory framework will also address this issue, and several others.