South Korea set to join the metaverse says President Moon

By Raffaele Redi

President confirms that South Korea will invest in digital technologies

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Friday, May 21, 2021                                 
President Moon Jae-in made his remarks at the ‘Digital Republic of Korea, Dialogue with Young People about the Future’ event – Photo: Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo
                                

South Korean President, Moon Jae-In, has announced his government will encourage the proliferation of the metaverse, a hypothesised 3D iteration of the internet, in an effort to promote digital innovation in the country.

“Key digital technologies such as cloud computing and IoT are being advanced, and the metaverse and other new, hyper-connected industries are being fostered,” he said at the ‘Digital Republic of Korea, Dialogue with Young People about the Future’ event.

According to Statista, more than 60% of newly registered users of the four major South Korean crypto exchanges were in their twenties and thirties.

“Skyrocketing housing prices and youth unemployment, hovering around 9%, are often seen as reasons for young people’s growing frustration. They believe, or at least hope, that they can hit the crypto jackpot,” said Statista researchers.

On the other hand, the government recently launched a crackdown on cryptocurrencies, forcing many small providers unable to secure banking partnerships to shut down or reduce their services.

South Korea taxation on crypto gains

Meanwhile, the Korean National Assembly passed the 2022 budget at a plenary session on 3 December. The KRW607.7trn (around $0.4trn) budget includes a KRW3.3trn increase from the original government proposal of KRW604.4trn.

Prior to the bill coming into law, an amendment was agreed on Tuesday to push a proposed tax on gains from cryptocurrencies back a year until 2023. The amendment gained cross-party support despite opposition from Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Hong Nam-ki, who recently stated that the government remained determined to implement the tax next year as originally planned.

The finance ministry planned to impose a 20% tax starting in October on yearly gains of over KRW2.5m or $2,125, but it was delayed for three months due to a lack of taxation infrastructure.

“Any further delay in the already postponed enforcement will lead to the loss of public trust in government policy and undermine stability in the legal system,” Hong argued during a parliamentary audit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul on Thursday.

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