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South Korea’s New Donation Law: Crypto Is Not Yet Included

2 mins
Updated by Harsh Notariya
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In Brief

  • South Korea amends its Donation Act by expanding acceptable donation asset types.
  • The government aims to streamline donations with new technology & online platforms.
  • The updated law is not yet including crypto, despite its popularity within the nation.
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South Korea has recently revised its Donation Act for the first time since 2006. On May 5, the government broadened the types of assets citizens could donate to charities, including various alternatives.

Interestingly, the South Korean government will not currently include cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in its donation scope. This decision has sparked discussion among stakeholders and citizens alike, given the significant popularity of cryptocurrencies nationwide.

Exploring South Korea’s Donation Law Update

The Ministry of the Interior and Safety is spearheading the amendments to the Enforcement Decree of the Act on Collection and Use of Donations. The new provisions are set to include department store gift vouchers, securities like listed stocks, cash points from major platforms such as Naver, and supermarket vouchers.

Additionally, local government-issued, Korean won (KRW)-pegged stablecoins and blockchain-powered e-gift vouchers will be acceptable.

Read more: How To Donate Crypto Using The Giving Block

The exclusion of cryptocurrencies stands out, especially considering the country’s high crypto adoption and trading rate. Moreover, the Ministry did not provide explicit reasons for this decision. Therefore, it leaves room for speculation.

However, other methods to facilitate donations will see significant improvements. Starting from July, South Koreans can use advanced technologies such as automatic response systems (ARS) for donating.

The amendments also aim to introduce more online donation platforms and streamline the process with enhanced accessibility and efficiency. These changes underscore the government’s commitment to leveraging technology to support philanthropic activities and ensure that various assets can be utilized for the public good.

The global trend of crypto donations starkly contrasts South Korea’s regulatory approach. For instance, the humanitarian charity body British Red Cross now accepts donations in over 70 different cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, a recent report from The Giving Block indicates that over $2 billion in cryptocurrency has been donated to charity as of January 2024. These donations included prominent cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDC.

Read more: Tracking Ethical Blockchain Via Sustainable Development Goals

Top Donated Cryptos in 2023.
Top Donated Cryptos in 2023. Source: The Giving Block

“USDC was the most-donated asset that we processed for charities in 2023 (for the second year in a row),” The Giving Block highlighted in its report.

Crypto donations have previously made headlines for their impactful contributions. For instance, Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, donated $20 million in Shiba Inu (SHIB) tokens to aid Covid-19 relief efforts. Furthermore, Ukraine successfully collected over $70 million in crypto donations during the conflict with Russia.

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Lynn Wang
Lynn Wang is a seasoned journalist at BeInCrypto, covering a wide range of topics, including tokenized real-world assets (RWA), tokenization, artificial intelligence (AI), regulatory enforcement, and investments in the crypto industry. Previously, she led a team of content creators and journalists for BeInCrypto Indonesia, focusing on the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in the region, as well as regulatory developments. Prior to that, at Value Magazine, she covered...
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