South Korean Banks Held $1.79B USD In Crypto In 2017

Investing, News | July 9, 2018 By:

The Bank of Korea (BOK), the central bank of South Korea, claimed that investment in cryptocurrencies remained low despite the impressive gains that crypto-assets had during 2017.

As of Decemeber 2017, the outstanding balance of virtual accounts in local banks totalled 2 trillion won ($1.79B USD), the BOK reported. The figure is equivalent to around 8 percent of the total deposits operated by South Korean brokerage houses, which are reportedly worth 26 trillion won ($23.27 billion).

“The amount of crypto-asset investment is not really big, compared with other equity markets, and local financial institutions’ exposure to possible risks of digital assets is insignificant,” report said. “Against this backdrop, we expect crypto-assets to have a limited impact on the South Korean financial market.”

In 2017, the price of bitcoin climb from below $1,000 to nearly $20,000. Bitcoin’s unprecedented growth has prompted the South Korean government to come up with a series of measures, including a real-name account system and a ban on investment by minors, to make the market more controllable and transparent.

Last month, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) said that they plan to ease rules on cryptocurrencies in line with policies initiated by G20 nations to establish “unified regulations.” Financial policymakers of the G20 set a July deadline for the first step toward “unified regulations” of cryptocurrencies because they see them as “too small to jeopardize” financial markets.

“Establishing unified rules is a complicated issue given the broader range of assessments between government agencies,” an FSC official said. “This is why the country needs close international cooperation as it is still in the early stages of fine tuning guidelines.”