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South Korean government planning to tax cryptocurrency and ICOs, says finance minister nominee

Namrata Shukla



South Korean government planning to tax cryptocurrency and ICOs, says finance minister nominee
Source: Unsplash

South Korea is planning to tax cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings [ICOs], in spite of the absence of a regulatory framework. South Korean finance minister nominee, Hong Nam-ki, informed the public of this development through a local media outlet called The Korea Times.

The news comes at a time when Ohio has allowed its citizens to pay tax bills through popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin. However, the government of South Korea does not seem to be on the same page as Ohio.

The nominee had submitted written answers to the South Korean National Assembly in response to a question based on taxation of digital currency. He further added that the tax system for digital currencies will be finalized along with the taxation infrastructure and advancement by global stakeholders. Nam-ki said:

“A task force consisting of experts from relevant government agencies, including the National Tax Service and the private sector, will be formed to examine overseas examples and hammer out the taxation plan.”

Nam-ki defined cryptocurrency as “electronic signs of values issued privately” instead of central banks and financial institution. The finance minister nominee noted that about 2,000 cryptocurrencies were traded globally and 160 domestically.

He stated in his letter that since cryptocurrencies are still in its nascent stage, it does not have a regulatory framework of its own. There are problems like overheating of the market and investor protections that need to be considered while forming a regulatory framework, added the minister.

Nam-ki also commented on the banned ICOs in Korea and said that allowing banned ICOs will be considered after observing market conditions, international trends, and investor protection issues.

The finance minister nominee said that the policy orientation on the ICO will be determined with appropriate agencies after taking into consideration the results of the financial regulator’s market survey and after receiving the feedback from experts.

Nam-ki acknowledged the government’s exclusion of cryptocurrency exchanges and said that the reason behind the exclusion remained that the exchanges were prone to illegal acts and are just brokerage service separate from blockchain technology.

Nam-ki said:

“We will do our utmost to nurture blockchain technology as nine out of the 10 business types classified as blockchain-related businesses by Statistics Korea, excluding the crypto exchanges can be still acknowledged as venture companies.”

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Namrata is a full-time journalist and is interested in covering everything under the sun, with a special focus on the crypto market.


XRP TipBot comes back online after a tiny downtime; Nothing to be worried about, says Wietse Wind




XRP TipBot goes online after a tiny downtime
Source: Unsplash

XRP TipBot’s website and the corresponding application suffered a downtime on June 23, 2019 for a few hours, during which the application wasn’t showing the balance of users. The website and the API for TipBot instead, displayed a “500 Internal Error.”

A Twitter user, @BlueNETGaming, tweeted Wietse Wind, inquiring the same. Wind confirmed that it was just an “infrastructure blip,” and that there was nothing to be worried about.

Wind tweeted,

XRP TipBot is probably the first and most widely accepted use-case of XRP. It leverages the transaction settling time of XRP Ledger to make tipping easy among peers on Twitter, Reddit, and other platforms, and this was the brainchild of developer Wietse Wind.

After TipBot, a lot of other cryptocurrencies have tried to mimic this idea of facilitating tipping; an example being Bitcoin’s, Tippin.Me which leveraged Lightning Network for tipping users. Although successful, it isn’t as popular as Wind’s TipBot.

The reason behind the same is that XRP Ledger allows transaction settlement in under 5 seconds, which makes tipping fast and efficient, unlike Bitcoin’s transactions which take a few minutes for transactions to be confirmed.

This is same reason why XRP is being used as a liquidity provider for cross-border payments in Ripple’s proprietary product, xRapid.

XRP community is a tightly-knit community with people who are very bullish about XRP’s success. There are equally talented developers in the community who are developing apps that help create more use-cases for XRP.

SchlaubiDev is one such developer known for developing plugins for Gmail and Microsoft Office, plugins that allow a user to send XRP over e-mails.

Ripple has identified Wind and his team’s talent and inducted them into Xpring, which finances them to help develop more community-based apps for increasing XRP use-cases.

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