According to regional news channel 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 issued rules allowing for the seizure of digital currencies for back taxes and started enforcing them last year.
A person living in Seoul named “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 (about $88.7 million) of digital assets spanning 20 coins and tokens, including 3.2 billion won (about $2.3 million) in Bitcoin (BTC) and 1.9 billion won ($1.3 million) in XRP.
Person A would have paid the arrears after the seizure and requested that the sale of seized assets be stopped. If back taxes are not paid, South Korean law allows authorities to sell seized cryptocurrencies at market value.
South Korea is one of the most popular countries in the world for crypto activity, with a digital currency market growing to $45.9 billion last year. In March, crypto-friendly Yoon Suk-Yeol won the country’s presidential election, and a coin used to TAUT his signature as a nonfungible token (NFT) rose 60% shortly after. In addition, both leading candidates have released campaign-related NFTs for election support.
Yoon has pledged to review “regulations that are far from reality and unreasonable” in South Korea’s crypto sector. One of the measures, which dates back to July, includes deferring a 20% tax on revenue generated from cryptocurrency transactions in excess of 2.5 million won ($177,550) for two years.