A recent report released by the Korean National Taxation Bureau has unveiled staggering figures regarding cryptocurrency holdings in South Korea. Korean companies’ and individuals’ declared crypto holdings have reached a staggering $98.3 billion, accounting for a significant portion of the country’s financial assets.
The report further reveals that 73 companies, including cryptocurrency exchanges, account for 92% of these holdings. However, it is essential to note that South Korean authorities have deferred taxing virtual asset gains until January 2025, despite initial plans to impose taxes earlier this year.
Including virtual assets in the list of assets subject to mandatory registration this year has significantly boosted these figures. Out of a total of 186.4 trillion won in registered external financial assets, virtual asset holdings accounted for an impressive 130.8 trillion won ($98.3 billion).
The National Tax Service (NTS) clarified that virtual assets are electronic certificates with economic value, which can be electronically traded or transferred, following the Act-On Reporting And Using Specified Financial Transaction Information.
This year’s report indicates a substantial increase in the total value of reported assets compared to 2022, nearly tripling from 64 trillion won to 186.4 trillion won, marking the highest since the enforcement of foreign financial asset registration in 2011.
Corporate Crypto Holdings Surge
The majority of the 73 corporations reporting foreign virtual assets were cryptocurrency-related companies, reporting holdings worth 120.4 trillion won. Meanwhile, 10.4 trillion won was registered by 1,359 individuals, averaging 7.66 billion won per person.
Notably, individuals aged 30 or younger held an average of around 10 billion won worth of virtual assets per person, representing 51.8% of the registered foreign virtual assets.
Virtual assets constitute the largest portion of total assets held in overseas financial accounts, followed by equities at 12.6% and deposits and savings at 12.3%.
The report also revealed that 5,419 residents and companies reported assets owned through overseas financial accounts, with individuals holding a combined 24.3 trillion won and corporations owning foreign financial assets worth 162.1 trillion won.
While most foreign financial assets were held in the United States, the United Kingdom led in the derivatives category, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan for both individual and corporate holdings.
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