The Financial Services Commission has started to categorize domestically traded virtual currencies according to their functions. It is largely divided into payment and settlement type, securities type, and utility type, and to find a way to regulate it by applying the current law. Accordingly, government intervention in virtual currency is expected to intensify in the future. According to the financial authorities on the 18th, the FSC is preparing standards to classify about 578 virtual currencies traded in Korea by type.
The most promising method is to divide into △payment and settlement type (exchange type) △security type △utility type according to the UK Financial Supervisory Service (FCA) standard. The FSC will refer to the European Union’s ‘Virtual Currency Market Act (MiCA)’. An official from the Financial Services Commission said, “We will categorize the tokens currently traded by referring to MiCA, etc.” and “A customized system is needed according to the type of token.”
According to the Capital Market Research Institute, a payment token is a virtual currency issued for circulation or exchange. Bitcoin is a prime example. A security token is a cryptocurrency that can earn interest, dividends, or shares. Real estate beneficiary certificates (DAB), which tokenize real estate shares, are a representative example. A utility token is a virtual currency used in applications or services based on blockchain technology.
The reason why the FSC classifies virtual currencies by type is that although legislative discussions have begun in the National Assembly, it is difficult to combine virtual currencies with different forms and functions into one law right now. Therefore, the FSC classifies virtual currencies by function and finds a way to incorporate them into the current law.
For example, the Capital Market Act can be applied to security-type tokens with securities properties. In order to issue security tokens, coin issuers must undergo a review by the Financial Services Commission when they raise investment funds from 50 or more people in accordance with the Capital Market Act. If the amount of offering is more than 1 billion won, you must also file a ‘Security Report’.
In the UK, utility tokens are not subject to the law. This is because it can be seen that blockchain technology is applied to a kind of ‘point’ used in shopping malls. However, if virtual currency is interpreted as ‘e-money tokens’ stipulated in EU’s MiCA, the Electronic Financial Transactions Act may be applied.
The e-money token is a coin that functions similar to electronic money by linking with legal currency for the purpose of exchange. Stablecoins can also be included here.
On the other hand, payment-type tokens such as Bitcoin are difficult to regulate under the current law. This is because transactions are made without intermediaries in a decentralized distributed ledger network. In this case, related regulations may be introduced into the new government bill.
The FSC will first classify token types focusing on virtual currencies with large market caps and active transactions in Korea, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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