Seven of the largest brokerages in South Korea have started proceedings that will enable them to open digital currency exchanges in the first half of next year.
The large domestic expansion companies have started the process of licensing with the financial authorities that will conclude by the second half of this year, local newspaper NewsPim reported. The preliminary approval would allow the corporations to establish and run virtual asset exchanges. Mirae Asset Securities and Samsung Securities were the only two among the seven firms that were named in the announcement.
Mirae and Samsung
With $648 billion in assets under management, Mirae is the largest investment bank by market cap in South Korea. It is preparing a virtual asset business by establishing a subsidiary under Mirae Asset Consulting, an affiliated company, to operate the exchange.
To this end, the company said it was hiring research and development personnel for various digital assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Additionally, Mirae said it was seeking to onboard technical staff for research and development related to Bitcoin and other blockchain-based platforms.
Meanwhile, Samsung Securities is conducting studies on how best to enter the blockchain-based security token business and cryptocurrency ecosystems. Last year, Samsung attempted to source enough manpower to launch the development and operation of a security token trading platform with the development of blockchain smart contracts but was ultimately unable to find employment.
Crypto in South Korea
Earlier this week, the South Korean government imposed a gift tax on crypto airdrops, ranging from 10% to 50%. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance said on August 22 that the taxation would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The transfer of assets via airdrops comes under the Inheritance and Gift Tax Act, with the government official saying that with respect to airdrops, “the gift tax will be levied on the third party to whom the virtual asset is transferred free of charge,” namely the airdrop receiver, the department said.
Last month, South Korea’s top financial regulator assigned a task force to “expedite the review process of bills on virtual assets,” according to its chairman Kim Joo-hyun. The task force consists of private-sector experts and relevant ministries, the chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) said at a National Assembly meeting. According to Kim, some 13 bills concerning the virtual asset market and investor protections are currently pending in the National Assembly.
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