Any South Korean news can cause quivers across crypto markets. The recent indecision and constant threat of exchange closures has created a few dips in the prices. Western media outlets do not help by publishing FUD and fake news on closures that have not happened.
South Korean news agency Yonhap reported this week that the government plans to necessitate the sharing of users’ transaction data between cryptocurrency exchanges and banks. The move is a potential step towards imposing taxes on the transactions or profits. The Financial Services Commission replied to the news stating;
“Korea Financial Intelligence Unit announced that financial companies are in the process of drawing up a guideline to prevent cryptocurrency-related money laundering, although any specific measures are yet to be confirmed. The financial authorities have not looked into any measure to monitor cryptocurrency users’ transaction data,”
According to officials banks are expected to introduce the system which will require cryptocurrency exchanges to share users’ transaction data with them late this month or early next.
Seoul has been grappling with crypto mania in the Southeast Asian nation for several months causing a number of days of panic selling following threats of exchange raid, clampdowns and closures. Citizens have taken their anger online and over 220,000 of them have signed a petition against crypto regulation or banning.
Last month the government banned the opening of new anonymous accounts for cryptocurrency investors and required traders to use their real names for accounts. There has been a lot of confusion out of South Korea. So much so that the chairman of the South Korean Fair Trade Commission, Kim Sang-jo, recently said it was impossible to ban crypto exchanges.
The taxman cometh
In a different report the South Korean government this week said it will collect up to 24.2% of corporate and local income taxes from the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges this year. Currently all corporations with income of over 20 billion won (US$18.7 million) are legally required to pay 22% and 2.2% of corporate and local income taxes according to the report. Yujin Investment & Securities claim that Bithumb, the world’s second largest exchange, is expected to pay around 60 billion won ($56 million) in corporate and local income taxes. Its estimated earnings reached almost $300 million last year.
Millions of South Koreans from housewives to students have invested and traded in cryptocurrencies and the government wants its piece of the pie.