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South Korean Presidential Candidate to Accept Crypto Donations for Campaign

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Boltman
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In Brief

  • A South Korean presidential candidate will be accepting cryptocurrency donations for his 2022 campaign.
  • He will issue NFTs to donors as receipts.
  • Donors can donate in Bitcoin, Ether, or one of three other cryptocurrencies under review.
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The Democratic Party of Korea is looking to spread its wings in the crypto space by accepting crypto donations and supporting NFTs in the gaming industry.

South Korean politician and former civil-rights attorney Lee Jae-Myung will be accepting cryptocurrency donations for his presidential campaign. Lee declared his intention to run as a presidential candidate in July 2021. He became the nominee of the Democratic Party of Korea on Oct. 10, 2021.

Each donor to Lee’s campaign will receive an NFT when they donate funds in Bitcoin, Ether, or another of three cryptocurrencies under review. Lee hopes to attract the interest of young voters who have shown an interest in digital currencies. The NFT receipt will contain Lee’s photographs and carry his election pledges. It is not clear on which blockchain the NFTs will be minted. The NFTs will be emailed to donors, and the cryptocurrency exchanged for cash using a centralized exchange. The fiat currency will be deposited into a contribution account. The NFTs will serve as a type of bond, where holders can “exchange their digital assets” with others.

Representative Lee Kwang-Jae from the campaign committee said,” The donations will be managed in compliance with the Public Official Election Act and the Guidelines on Management of Political Funds.” Lee Jae-Myung will be the first politician in the world to issue NFTs for campaign funding.

Gaming industry to receive a boost from NFTs

Park Young-sun, who heads up digitization policies for the Democratic Party’s election campaign committee, also voiced her alignment to the party’s crypto-friendly policies. She issued an NFT linked to a Facebook message written in 2018, where she opposed the shutdown of crypto exchanges. She will meet with gaming industry representatives next week to discuss the boosting of the nation’s gaming industry using NFTs. The high internet speeds and robust telecommunication infrastructure have resulted in micropayments’ popularity, especially in games.

Cryptocurrency interest has flourished in South Korea. According to a 2021 survey, 40.4% of 1885 workers had invested in cryptocurrency. Korean workers aged 20-39 constitute 86.9% of all crypto holders surveyed. South Korea also has a youth unemployment problem, and as of Feb, March, and April 2021, had an unemployment rate of 10%. In addition, the South Korean National Assembly passed new laws in March 2020 that laid the foundation for the regulatory oversight of cryptocurrencies and exchanges, including anti-money laundering processes. This came amidst a surge in interest in cryptocurrencies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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