South Korea’s statistical agency National Statistical Office [NSO] has finally decided to investigate households’ digital assets, such as bitcoin, starting from this year. As per local media sources, the bureau on 23rd January 2022 announced that it will include digital assets in its household finances report. The Household Financial Welfare Survey is conducted to gauge ‘financial soundness’ through household assets, liabilities, income, and expenses, and to understand the level and change of economic life.
According to sources, discussion in South Korea’s National Assembly with regards to the taxation of crypto assets was delayed by one year to 2023, but NSO decided to go ahead with the investigation as scheduled to secure data. The National Statistical Office defined virtual assets as ‘virtual assets traded through exchanges’.
The Statistical Agency is however yet to decide whether virtual assets will be included in traditional financial assets such as savings, stocks, and bonds or real assets such as real estate and automobiles. Therefore, the date of publication of the statistics has yet to be determined.
In another fresh development, its central bank- the Bank of Korea [BoK] has reportedly completed the first stage of its two-part pilot testing of its CBDC in December. The institution also revealed that the project is currently running its second phase.
South Korea’s BOK inches closer for its CBDC
South Korea’s central bank said Monday that it has successfully completed the pilot testing of issuance and distribution of digital currency and has been carrying out the second phase “smoothly.” As reported in the Korea herald after the completion of the second phase in coming June, the BOK plans to begin discussions on its actual launch and commercialization.
BOK’s mock testing of digital currency took off on August 2021, in collaboration with tech giant Kakao Corp,’s blockchain arm Ground X. The central bank is reportedly skeptical of all major economies adopting their digital currencies and said it would take “a long time” for them to fully launch them. According to a report, BOK stated,
“Central banks in major economies have been taking the stance that the digital currencies will replace cash rather than savings in banks. We are testing a slew of measures that could minimize the negative impacts of the digital currency on financial stability.”