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Pro-crypto candidate wins South Korean presidential election

On March 9, pro-crypto presidential candidate Yoon Suk-Yeol won the close-fought South Korean election. Korean crypto investors are now anticipating where he will make true of his promises of improving the country’s crypto regulations and ‘[creating] an environment where virtual asset investors can invest with confidence.’ 

The president-elect has rallied for crypto throughout his campaign and said in a virtual asset forum held at Seoul Hotel on March 10 that ‘to realize the unlimited potential of the virtual asset market, we must overhaul regulations that are far from reality and unreasonable’. 

He now seeks to deregulate the crypto industry and introduce a more favourable tax law for digital asset investors. Additionally, he would ‘take legal measures to confiscate crypto profits gained through illegitimate means and return them to the victims.’ He would do this by introducing a law on digital assets that would lay the groundwork for initial exchange offerings (IEOs) to help embolden the crypto industry in South Korea.

According to the insights published by CoinDesk on March 14, Yoon’s promises are popular among young voters between the age of 20 to 30 due to their interest in crypto. Major crypto industries, including Korea Blockchain Association, commented after Yoon’s win on March 9 that they ‘sincerely hope that president-elect Yoon Seok-Yeol would be able to fulfil his promises for the future of Korea and the Korean blockchain ecosystem’. 

The Korean crypto community worries that the issues on crypto would only be important in the contentious election but would eventually be dropped once the election is over, as expressed in an article by CoinDesk published on March 14. 

However, while some feared that the support for crypto would be short-lived, others saw it as an opportunity for growth in the community. James Wo, the founder of crypto fund DFG, said in a Telegram message to CoinDesk that the week following the election of president Yoon has brought a positive turning point for the crypto and digital asset industry. 

He continued by saying ‘with two global leaders such as the US and South Korea signalling the intent to work on analyzing and educating themselves to embrace a technological advancement that has grown to have close to $2 trillion in market cap with slim to none guardrails, the market is reacting with high expectations.’ 

On another note, the prominent South Korean project icon tokens surged by up to 70% in the past 24-hours right after Yoon was elected to the position of president.  

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