No Room for Crypto in South Korea’s New Donation Rules

Key Takeaways

  • South Korea excludes cryptocurrencies from approved donation methods in recent amendments to the “Donations Act” of 2006;
  • That is despite broadening to include modern payment forms like gift vouchers and stocks;
  • Global crypto donations rose, with over $2 billion reported in January 2024.

South Korea has decided not to include digital currencies as an acceptable form of donation.

Charitable organizations will be unable to accept cryptocurrencies.

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According to a report by Kyunghyang Shinmun, recent amendments to South Korea’s “Donations Act” of 2006 have excluded crypto, even when the law has now expanded to include other modern payment methods, such as department store gift vouchers and stocks.

The government has not provided specific reasons for leaving crypto off the approved list, when locally issued, KRW-pegged stablecoins and blockchain-issued gift vouchers are permitted.

The Ministry of Public Administration has also updated the act to integrate new donation methods like automated response systems, postal and logistics services, adapting to technological advancements and changes in consumer behavior.

This decision comes at a time when cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used for charity around the world. TheGivingBlock reported that over $2 billion in donations were made using crypto as of January 24, 2024.

The cautious approach to excluding crypto from approved donation methods reflects regional uncertainties about digital currencies.

The uncertainties were also evidenced by the situation of crypto exchange Crypto.com, which has recently postponed its launch in South Korea due to regulatory concerns over its anti-money laundering practices.

Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era.
With close to a decade of experience in the FinTech industry, Aaron understands all of the biggest issues and struggles that crypto enthusiasts face. He’s a passionate analyst who is concerned with data-driven and fact-based content, as well as that which speaks to both Web3 natives and industry newcomers.
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