Yoon Suk-yeol, A Bitcoin and Crypto-Friendly Politician, Wins South Korea’s Presidential Election
Conservative Party candidate Yoon Suk-Yeol, a former top prosecutor who vowed to de-regulate the cryptocurrency business, will be South Korea’s next president.
The election was one of the most closely contested in South Korean history. According to the Associated Press, Yoon Suk-yeol defeated his opponent, Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Liberal Party, by less than one percentage point on Wednesday.
During the election, cryptocurrency was one of the hottest issues. Yoon and Lee both unveiled crypto-friendly positions in an effort to appeal to younger voters.
Rising family debt and depressed wages have encouraged many young Koreans to resort to the stock market and crypto investment to get ahead, but the present administration, led by President Moon Jae-In, has cracked down hard on cryptocurrency. Strict regulatory measures resulted in the closure of roughly 70 Korean exchanges by 2021, leaving only a handful operational.
More over five million individual crypto accounts exist among South Korea’s top three exchanges, accounting for roughly 10% of the country’s population.
Yoon Suk-yeol vowed to de-regulate the cryptocurrency business throughout his campaign. Yoon stated at a cryptocurrency conference in January that rules “far from reality and unreasonable” must be revised in order to “realize the unlimited potential of the virtual asset market.”
Yoon stated his ambition to recruit and build crypto “unicorns” – startup companies worth $1 billion or more.
Yoon Suk-yeol has also stated that he will “take legal action to confiscate cryptocurrency profits obtained through illegitimate means and return them to the victims.”
Some of South Korea’s largest entertainment and gaming corporations have expressed interest in cryptocurrency, promising to produce non-fungible tokens (NFT) or play-to-earn games during their annual shareholder meetings.
The runner-up, Lee, focussed his efforts on recruiting those gaming firms. He formed a task team for gaming and the metaverse and vowed to turn the nation into a crypto powerhouse. Lee also issued his own NFTs and stated that he would take crypto contributions for his campaign.
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