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South Korea classifies select NFTs as cryptocurrencies

NFT displayed on a smartphone

Image: Envato Elements

South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) has unveiled new regulations that classify specific non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as virtual assets, akin to cryptocurrencies.

Announced Monday, the guidelines stipulate that NFTs that are mass-produced, divisible, and can be utilized for payments will be subject to this new categorization.

This regulatory move is aimed at providing clarity within the evolving digital asset sector and ensuring that certain NFTs are governed by the same rules as traditional cryptocurrencies.

The FSC’s guidelines are a response to the increasing use of NFTs in ways that mirror cryptocurrencies, targeting those that are interchangeable and lack unique characteristics.

The FSC said it will review NFT collections on a case-by-case basis to determine their classification, indicating a tailored approach to regulation rather than a blanket policy.

This decision reflects South Korea’s recognition of the diverse functionalities of digital tokens, potentially leading to more regulated and stable NFT markets, and offering clearer direction for both creators and investors.

The announcement precedes the implementation of South Korea’s comprehensive crypto regulation, the Virtual Asset User Protection Act, scheduled for July 19, 2024.

This act is designed to curb illegal activities in the crypto space and requires crypto service providers to protect user deposits, primarily through cold storage, and to participate in insurance schemes for user compensation in the event of security breaches.

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