According to regional news outlet mk.co.kr, the South Korean government has seized more than 260 billion Korean won ($180 million) worth of cryptocurrencies over the past two years due to back taxes. The country’s politicians have enacted regulations allowing the seizure of digital currencies for tax crimes and started enforcing them last year.
An individual living in Seoul, nicknamed “Person A,” had 1.43 billion won (about $101.6 million) in back taxes and his cryptocurrency exchange account was seized by authorities . The account contained 12.49 billion won (approximately $88.7 million) of digital assets spread across 20 coins and tokens, including 3.2 billion won (approximately $2.3 million) in Bitcoin (BTC) and 1.9 billion won ($1.3 million) in XRP.
After the seizure, Person A would have paid the arrears and requested that the sale of the seized goods be stopped. If back taxes are not paid, South Korean law allows authorities to sell confiscated cryptocurrencies at market value.
South Korea is one of the most popular countries in the world for crypto activity, with its digital currency market reaching $45.9 billion last year. In March, crypto-friendly Yoon Suk-Yeol won the country’s presidential election, and a coin used to mint his signature as a non-fungible token (NFT) jumped 60% soon after. In addition, both leading candidates have released campaign-related NFTs in support of the election.
Yoon pledged to “revise unrealistic and unreasonable regulations” in the South Korean crypto industry. One of the measures, from July, includes deferring a 20% tax on revenue generated from cryptocurrency transactions exceeding 2.5 million won ($177,550) for two years.