Lawmakers plan to accept political donations in cryptocurrencies

SEOUL, 30 Dec. (Yonhap) — A ruling party lawmaker plans to accept political donations of cryptocurrencies, his office said Thursday, amid growing interest in virtual assets in the country.

Representative Lee Kwang-jae of the ruling Democratic Party is attempting to obtain campaign contributions in virtual currencies and issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as receipt for such donations starting in mid-January.

If realized, Lee would be the first South Korean lawmaker to accept virtual assets for campaign finance.

“We are currently reviewing the selection of local wallet (virtual asset) vendors,” an official in Lee’s office said. “We will reveal our wallet address on our blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel in early January.”

Since this is an experimental project, Lee’s office said it initially plans to receive 10 million won ($8,450) in virtual asset donations, with a limit of 1 million. won fixed for each donor.

His office is looking to take Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, and a few local virtual currencies.

Donated virtual assets will be converted to cash in a local cryptocurrency exchange and will be used in accordance with political finance regulations.

Due to its high volatility, Lee’s office said the actual value of donated cryptocurrency might be different when converted to cash, meaning donors may see different tax deduction amounts than theirs. expectations when making the year-end tax settlement for their donations.