The South Korean Blockchain Enterprise Promotion Association (BEPA) is demanding for the government to speed up blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption and regulation efforts.
Time for urgency
A report from a local news outlet, Korea Joongang Daily, has said that the association filed this demand to curb the government’s focus on “negative short-term side effects” and instead urges it to observe the global blockchain race and adopt a means to reap the economic benefits sooner than later.
Yoo Joon-sand, president of BEPA told a press briefing: “Countries around the world are applying blockchain technology to all aspects of society including health care, retail and logistics.”
He adds, “But instead of welcoming the people’s fervor for the technology, the government is focused on controlling it to address negative short-term side effects. This is essentially kicking away the economic opportunities that lie in front of us.”
The blockchain push
The association, formed on 17 July, is comprised of ex-politicians and academics with significant members such as former Prime Minister Lee Soo-sung and Professor Kim Hyoung-joong, head of Korea University’s Cryptocurrency Center at the Graduate School of Information Technology.
Furthermore, with their combined technological and governmental experience, members of the association wish to also push the regulation of blockchain technologies so that they can be applied to “diverse industries”, which is expected to be a catalyst for job creation and reduce financial burdens for small business owners.
According to the report, the members of the association believe that should the nation be ready with a full-body of regulations, then South Korea can witness explosive job creation and “pave the way for Korea to lead the world in the fourth industrial revolution“.
South Korea has already made vows with the United States to collaborate on a multitude challenges and facets of this coming era, with blockchain being one of the technologies in focus.
Embracing the future
This is not the first time that the government in South Korea has been pushed by politicians and prominent organizations to ramp-up the effort to regulate the space. For two weeks in early July, the South Korean National Assembly saw a maelstrom of political parties submit draft bills to create clarifications on initial coin offerings (ICOs), cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
In late July, the head of the virtual currency response team for the country’s Financial Services Commission made calls for adequate legal frameworks to be implemented; this would be in order to protect cryptocurrency investors and domestic blockchain enterprises.
Recent changes to tax rules for “new-growth technologies” included tax cuts for companies engaging in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The new rules were announced in mid-July, however, there is a chance that these benefits will not be extended to cryptocurrency exchanges.
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