South Korea exhibits potentials as a rising leader in the blockchain industry. With future thinking regulators, a community of experienced investors and a culture of massive adoption of mobile payments, the country seems ready to adopt blockchain technology for general use.

However, it is worth asking what has changed in the relatively short period since the South Korean government announced the ban on investment in ICOs and the possible ban on the cryptocurrency as a whole. It is not just a reaction that has led the authorities to change the course. In fact, South Korea has never been bearish in technology and its ban ICO is probably caused by the more number of scams that appear in the news from the fear of technology itself. The following steps from this negative viewpoint of South Korea as a haven for cryptocurrency illuminate the country’s optimism for technology.

Now the country is emerging as a spindle for the trade of cryptocurrency. South Korea is the third largest bitcoin market after Japan and the United States, and also the largest market of Ethereums which accounts for over 33% of the market share. The country is also home to two of the 15 largest global digital currency exchanges (Bithumb and Coinone), both of which built centers where investors can have a personal transaction. In general, it is estimated that South Korea has about one million traders registered daily in the virtual currency, which corresponds to about one in 50 citizens.

Retail investors are not the only South Koreans excited about cryptocurrencies; Some of the largest companies in the country are investing money in virtual currency activities and related technologies. Nexon, one of the largest video game developers in South Korea, is the largest shareholder of Korbit, the third largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country. Dunamu, a subsidiary of Kakao, a leading Internet services company in South Korea, recently launched a cryptocurrency exchange called Upbit. And the DB group, another South Korean conglomerate, partnered with local company Sentbe in August to offer bitcoin remittance payments.

Of course, the ecosystem is an important foundation that facilitates the establishment of South Korea as a blockchain center. To create such an ecosystem, the government has taken a series of measures, including the simplification of trade regulations based on cryptocurrency and dedicating a significant part of its investment “Growth through innovation” for blockchain and artificial intelligence program of about $ 4.4 billion.

Furthermore, the Korean authorities have actively promoted the blockchains, and each province seeks to impose itself as the South Korean equivalent of the so-called “Crypto Valley” of Zug. Plans to make Jeju Island, South Korea, a cryptocurrency and blockchain technology center follow the announcement that the South Korean Financial Services Commission will create a new cryptocurrency division designed to monitor the emerging cryptography sector and specifically adapt to “the evolution of financial innovations”. Jeju Island is being developed as the “International Free City of Jeju”, where the blockchain and crypto startups will be able to make initial offers of coins (ICO).

The new cryptocurrency division seems to be part of the new cryptocurrency regulatory framework of South Korea, which has seen the Financial Services Commission welcome the legitimate cryptocurrency trade and, subsequently, adjust the existing cryptocurrency regulations on exchange of transactions and tracking of users.

More than a simple spectacle, South Korea’s willingness to join the blockchain seems to be fully supported by government actions and statements. The country has positioned itself strategically at the top of the blockchain wave and is creating policies that will make it a leader in the way governments cooperate with this expanding sector. In doing so, Korea is ensuring that it will continue to be one of the most innovative countries in the world and will play an important role in the way the world interacts with the blockchain.

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