South Korea’s new finance minister has revealed he intends to cash in on Seoul’s multi-billion dollar blockchain and cryptocurrency industry by reviewing the country’s taxation policy towards crypto and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The sudden announcement – made before Hong Nam-ki has even been sworn in – is expected to attract attention from treasuries throughout the world as the lucrative industry offers up new ways for governments to add to their coffers.
The former chief policymaker under President Moon Jae-in has made it clear he wants to see the National Assembly tighten the taxation screw on the republic’s huge cryptocurrency industry, which is estimated to be worth in the region of $100bn.
Hong pledged to set out a taxation infrastructure that would take ICOs and cryptocurrencies away from the tax breaks of start-up businesses.
As reported by the Daily Express, he said: “The exclusion reflected the criticism that crypto exchanges were vulnerable to illegal acts and were merely a brokerage service separate from blockchain technology.”
South Korea has enjoyed years of developing government and privately-backed infrastructure to turn Seoul into a major crypto hub, but it now appears that National Assembly members want a return on the massive investment.
“We tax crypto assets in accordance with the rules, and the tax treatment will depend on the activities and the parties involved,” an HMRC spokesman told the Express.
“Each case will be considered on the basis of its own facts and circumstances.
“HMRC will shortly be publishing detailed guidance on the taxation of crypto assets for individuals.”
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