blockchain in korea
June 4, 2018

Blockchain in Korea

Blockchain in Korea coming back? There is a widely varied range of opinions about blockchain in Korea, fuelled largely by regulatory actions by the government and high demand for cryptocurrency there. A few different events have led to these perceptions, however, the cryptocurrency community there remains largely optimistic about the future adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency Increased Price

Due to widely increased local demand to purchase cryptocurrencies and few exchanges to purchase on, bitcoin traded at an additional 10-50% against the US dollar, compared to other foreign exchanges. This was referred to as the “Kimchi Premium”, sparking talk from Koreans and foreigners alike about arbitrage opportunities. The Korean government put in place a large number of restrictions to limit these, including restricting overseas payment remittance and stricter regulation of cash taken through customs. Additionally, foreigners were restricted from trading on Korean exchanges. Paired with the high activity of Koreans in ICOs prior to September 2017, this demonstrates a very high interest in cryptocurrency in general.

ICO ban

The Korean government put a ban on ICOs in place, denoting ICOs as unlicensed securities in September 2017. This shut down the ICO market, though there has been constant interest in re-opening it. While this caused some to sour on cryptocurrency in general, this may change as the National Assembly is pushing to re-open the ICO market.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Projects

Korea has turned up numerous interesting cryptocurrency projects, of which two major ones are loopnet and ICON. ICON borrows some concepts from LoopNet and leverages the concept of related networks to handle communities sharing information. This also helps alleviate the pressure of broadcasting votes all of the way across the network. As these technologies mature more, there can be much more promise from Korean ICOs.

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