Crypto Vote Could Be Key as South Korea Chooses its Next President

South Korea votes with  Crypto as a key to electing its next president

South Korea will vote on March 9 to elect its next president – and crypto could play a major role in determining the outcome.

After a tense and bitter campaigning period, the former prosecutor-general of the important opposition People’s Power Party, Yoon Suk-yeol, is hoping to dislodge the ruling party. The latter’s candidate is Lee Jae-Myung, a 57-year-old former governor of Gyeonggi Province, South Korea’s prosperous and most populous region.

As reported, both men have increasingly attempted to outdo each other with pro-crypto manifesto promises, all of which represent the main departure from the more crypto-skeptical policies of the incumbent President Moon Jae-in administration.

Under Moon, initial coin offerings (ICOs) in all their forms were prohibited, with play-to-earn (P2E) crypto gaming also hardly restricted. And crypto exchanges and wallet providers have been compelled to adhere to one of the strictest sets of regulatory protocols in the world.

But all the while, crypto has grown in popularity in South Korea, with many young people crowding to bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. A unique joint-effort initiative by Lee and Yoon saw the government’s much-maligned crypto tax law delayed by a year in parliament.

Both sides are attempting to woo young voters with pro-crypto policies. For Yoon, pushing the youth vote away from Lee will help him win ground in the capital Seoul, which will be a key battlefield in tomorrow’s vote.

According to the latest Real Meter opinion polls, Yoon has opened a gap of almost nearly 5% on his rival, with 45% saying they would vote for the People’s Power candidate. Just over 40% said they would vote in favor of Lee. But an unexpected kingmaker may have emerged in the form of Ahn Chul-soo, a tech pioneer standing in for the smaller opposition People’s Party. Ahn commanded around 7% of support in the same poll but has since dropped out of the race – urging his supporters to vote for Yoon.

But a February survey by the same firm predicted a much closer picture, with Yoon just a single point ahead. Earlier polls from January Lee were very narrowly ahead.

Here are some of the two competitor’s crypto-related pledges:

Lee has:

  • The Proposed an annual Universal Basic Income (UBI) of USD 800.
  • It also said it is “considering” launching a government-led cryptocurrency that will be airdropped to citizens – probably as a means of distributing UBI.
  • Speak about creating an international crypto “hub” using pro-business methods.
  • Promises to “review” the ICO ban.
  • They Pledged to consider enabling security token issuance specifically for small and medium-sized venture companies.
  • Pledge to create tax parity with stock exchange traders’ limit on tax-free trading.

Yoon, meanwhile, is:

  • Also promised to “review” the ICO ban.
  • He expanded that he will “actively create an environment where young people can capitalize [in crypto] with confidence.”
  • He let out that he would create a digital camera industry promotion agency, which would support the crypto industry and form a policy to regulate crypto assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
  • He claimed that he would consider allowing firms to launch initial exchange offerings (IEOs).


  • Vinayak Rajagopalan

    Hi, I'm Vinayak Rajagopalan, Blockchain Consultant at Dconn. I stumbled into blockchain when I was an undergrad and a friend of mine introduced me to Bitcoin. I've never left it since. The one thing that got me so intrigued by blockchain is that it is not a zero-sum game. Once I realized that, all I wanted to do was tell more people about this revolutionary technology. This is my way of doing that.

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