South Korea’s tax officials have unveiled that the nation’s citizens and businesses collectively own nearly $99 billion in foreign cryptocurrency assets. This astonishing sum makes up 70% of all foreign assets declared by South Koreans this year. The tax body identified 1,432 individuals and organizations as the keyholders of these vast crypto assets.
In addition to cryptocurrencies, the tax office’s statistics indicate South Koreans also have considerable foreign investments in equities, bank deposits, and other savings. A total of 5,419 entities reported foreign assets totaling approximately $140 billion. As a result, the tax authority is intensifying its scrutiny of those who neglect to disclose their foreign holdings in compliance with South Korean laws that mandate reporting overseas assets worth 500 million won or more.
Meanwhile, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is ramping up its oversight of over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trades. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Ki No-Seong recently stressed the urgency for robust regulations governing OTC crypto transactions at an event hosted by the ‘2023 3rd Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Criminal Law Academy.’ He noted that illicit OTC crypto firms often operate through foreign entities and are involved in converting unlawfully acquired cryptocurrencies into Korean won or other currencies.
The FSC underscored the risks involved in unregulated OTC crypto trading by citing the case of three individuals who were arrested last year for illicitly purchasing cryptocurrencies worth around $70.9 million through OTC platforms.
South Korean regulators monitor OTC crypto trading within the country in line with global efforts to regulate the crypto sector and prevent illegal activities like money laundering.