Two candidates woo young investors in virtual assets
Two major presidential candidates on Wednesday competitively propose pledges on virtual assets to woo young voters who have been investing in cryptocurrencies.
Ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung said Wednesday he will institutionally recognize the virtual asset industry and guarantee various business opportunities.
Lee of the Democratic Party made the remarks in a meeting with heads of the nation's four major cryptocurrency exchanges and industry experts in Seoul, apparently targeting voters in their 20s and 30s who have a relatively strong interest in virtual asset investments.
Lee said he will prepare objective listing standards and make the disclosure system transparent through the legalization of virtual assets. He also promised to monitor unfair trade practices and devise protection regulations to cope with the digital divide.
Lee said he will consider allowing initial coin offerings after establishing sufficient safeguards to protect investors and prevent market disturbances. The candidate said he will also consider permitting the issuance of security tokens based on real assets.
"An existing market doesn't disappear even if our eyes are covered," Lee said, referring to the virtual asset industry. "If we cannot avoid it, we have to get ahead," he said.
Meanwhile, main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol pledged Wednesday to ease the tax burden on profits from cryptocurrency investments by raising the threshold from the current 2.5 million won ($2,100) to 50 million won.
Yoon, of the conservative People Power Party, announced the pledge at the party's headquarters, saying he will raise the bottom limit to the same level as stocks and give tax exemptions for returns of up to 50 million won.
The candidate also said he will introduce a digital asset law aimed at protecting investors and confiscating the entire amount of profits obtained unfairly through manipulation.
Yoon promised to establish a new government agency to oversee new areas of the digital industry, such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, and also allow local initial coin offerings (ICOs).
"I will foster a digital asset investment environment similar to the stock market to ensure young people can enter new markets without fear," he said.