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South Korea’s Revised Donation Laws Exclude Digital Assets

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South Korea's Revised Donation Laws Exclude Digital Assets

  • The Ministry of Public Administration submitted modifications to the Donations Act.
  • Donations to non-profits will be accepted via a number of new channels beginning in July.

South Korea’s charities and contribution campaigns may take a hit as digital currencies are not included in the country’s recently revised donation laws.

According to Kyunghyang Shinmun, a local media site, the Ministry of Public Administration said on May 5 that they had submitted modifications to South Korea’s “Donations Act” which restrict the usage of cryptocurrency for donations.

Donations to non-profits will be accepted via a number of new channels beginning in July, including department store gift cards, stocks, and loyalty points from Korean internet behemoth Naver, but not cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Failed to Explain Rationale Behind Exclusion

The statute governing the acquisition and use of donated items was first passed in 2006, at a time when there were fewer forms of payment and cell phones were not commonplace, as mentioned in it.

Additionally, automatic response systems, postal services, and logistical services were added to the list of ways to donate, in addition to online and bank transactions.

Despite digital asset contributions’ popularity in South Korea, the Ministry has failed to explain a rationale for their exclusion. However, the law is planned to allow donations in local government-issued, KRW-pegged stablecoins and blockchain-issued gift vouchers.

As of January 2024, local charities would not be able to access the market that TheGivingBlock estimates as having received over $2 billion in crypto donations worldwide. At the same time, it was recently reported that over half of American organizations now take digital assets as donations.

Reports surfaced in late April that South Korea was planning to transform its special unit investigating cryptocurrency crimes into an official agency in an effort to combat the growing number of crimes and frauds using cryptocurrency.

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