With the acceptance of cryptocurrency increasing daily, the next logical step is to lay down a foundation on which to utilize and build cryptocurrency services off of. This is exactly what South Korea announced October 24.
“The government will push for the systematization of digital currency on a full scale in tandem with a global trend in the U.S., Japan, and other countries,” Yim Jong-Yong, chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), said in a speech at the 12th Fintech Center Demo Day event.
South Korea is willing to commit $2.65 billion over the next three years as financial support for the development of the fintech sector. Working in partnership with the local financial industry, Jong-Yong also announced that South Korea would have launched a consortium on blockchain for joint research and pilot projects before the end of 2016.
The second-stage of fintech development will be the primary objective continuing onto the first quarter of 2017, with the government primarily having focused on removing any “red tape” that would impede growth or innovation. The FSC has also signed an agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, where both countries would exchange relevant information, knowledge, and manpower to the regards of furthering each countries respective fintech sector.
There has been no specific timelines or project announcement at the time of writing from South Korea, but assuming they stay true to their schedule, we should expect to see some display of their growth near the end of this year. Jong-Yong further elaborated that the second stage of the fintech roadmap will be made public in the first quarter of 2017, stating that, “In the second stage, the government will place a focus on re-designing the existing system to be suitable for the fintech environment,”
South Korea could quickly become the center of cryptocurrency products and services if progress is made within the next six months. In July, South Korea, along with Estonia, topped Barclays’ Digital Development Index and South Korean institutions have taken a proactive stance in the cryptocurrency space; South Korea’s central bank and law enforcement agencies collaborated in the past to terminate altcoin ‘pump-and-dump’ schemes to prevent the image of sound cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, being tarnished.
Given that South Korea is ranked as one of the most business-friendly countries in terms of regulation, which, coupled with the focus they have put on ensuring that cryptocurrency developments would have a nurturing regulatory environment to thrive in, has the potential to make South Korea one of the most inviting locations for new fintech and blockchain startups to station in.