South Korean media outlets claim political parties in the country are targeting millennials and members of Generation Z with pro-crypto policies and private members’ bills aimed at wooing young, crypto-keen voters ahead of next year’s elections.
As previously reported, South Korea will go to the polls twice in the space of less than half a year in 2022, with presidential elections in March followed by local and regional elections in summer. The government’s hard-line stance on crypto, and its instance on introducing a 20% capital gains tax on crypto-related profits in January 2022 – despite admitted “practical difficulties” – has been met with displeasure from younger crypto-owning citizens.
Asia Kyungjae reported that Yoon Chang-hyun, the opposition People’s Power Party MP who chairs his party’s Cryptoassets Task Force, has stated that he will do all in his power to pass a new private member’s bill tabled at the end of last month.
Yoon’s bill outlines “methods and procedures” for crypto exchange user “protection and regulation,” and would seek to stamp out “unfair practices” in the sector.
However, the bill also seeks to bolster the “development of the cryptoasset industry” by creating a more “competitive” environment.
Yoon wants to create a “cryptoasset policy coordination committee” that comprises not only government officials and regulators, but also “private sector and academic” members. The MP wants to create a crypto-focused research institute – and a “cryptoasset industry development fund,” which would allow the government to fund promising crypto startups.
Yoon stated that he would seek to meet with the regulatory Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Office of Government Policy Coordination in a bid to ensure the bill can pass the National Assembly’s committee stage.
The bill will join seven other crypto-specific bills in committee review, most of which are mainly focused on amending the crypto tax law or seeking to delay its introduction by a year. All but one of these private member’s bills were drafted this year.
In addition, another piece of legislation – the Virtual Currency Business Rights Act – will likely reach the floor for a vote before this year is out. This bill seeks to put licenced crypto firms on a level legal footing as ordinary firms in other industrial spheres. Currently, exchanges and wallet providers have the same kind of legal status as firms such as casinos, karaoke venues and bars that provide “entertainment” services.
The media outlet noted that as the presidential election is next year, there is a disticnt “possibility” that parties are targeting the “MZ generation” (millennials + “Zoomers”), as these groups are “actively investing” in cryptoassets. As such, MPs may be proposing “bills that seek to delay taxation” “one after another” – and “regardless of the amount of opposition to [their bills].”
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