(Kitco News) – The onset of a crypto winter hasn’t deterred large multinational companies from wading deeper into the realm of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as a new report indicates that Samsung is looking to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange.
Samsung Securities, a subsidiary of Samsung Futures Inc., is among seven firms that have sent out applications seeking preliminary approval to establish a corporation to operate a crypto exchange in South Korea.
The report indicated that Samsung is currently conducting studies to determine how best to enter the cryptocurrency exchange market after its attempt to develop a crypto trading platform in 2021 failed to acquire the necessary talent to do so.
So far, the only other firm that has been identified is Mirae Asset Securities. Mirae is the largest investment by market capitalization in South Korea, with $648 billion in assets under management.
According to the report, Mirae plans to establish a subsidiary under its Mirae Consulting arm that will be tasked with operating the exchange. The firm is also looking to onboard technical staff that will focus on research and development of Bitcoin and other blockchain-based platforms, including nonfungible tokens (NFTs)
Once fully approved, the exchanges are expected to debut in the first half of 2023.
The rise in institutional interest from South Korean firms comes following the recent election of Yoon Suk-Yeol to the office of president in the country. On his campaign trail, the new president promised to deregulate the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets.
“We must shift to a negative regulation system to ensure at least the virtual asset market has no worries,” Suk-Yeol said on the matter.
To help accomplish these goals, the report noted that South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) intends to “revise the relevant laws and push forward with the Digital Assets Framework Act so that they can be managed in one regulated framework divided into security-type tokens and non-security-type tokens.” The agency will also “examine whether domestic virtual assets are securities.”
In other crypto-related news out of South Korea, the South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced on Monday that cryptocurrency airdrops, staking rewards, and hard-forked assets will be subject to a gift tax under the auspices of the Inheritance and Gift Tax Act.
This came as a surprise to many after previous statements from the government suggested that crypto gains taxes wouldn’t begin until 2025.
According to the announcement, individuals who are required to pay a gift tax must file a return within three months from the end of the month in which they received the gift. The tax rate ranges from 10-50%, depending on the individual situation.
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