New South Korea President Sends ICX Token Soaring 70%

The native token of the South Korean-based ICON blockchain, ICX, has jumped 70 percent following the election of a new crypto-friendly president.

In the 24 hours following the election of Yoon Suk-yeol, the ICX token went from a low of US$0.61 to a high of US$1.06. It has since retraced some of those gains and currently sits at US$0.83 – still down some 93 percent from its all-time high of US$13.16, reached in January 2018.

Crypto Plays Important Role in Close Result

Yoon Suk-yeol, who only came to politics in 2021 having previously worked as a high profile prosecutor, was the candidate for the conservative opposition party, People Power Party. His victory was not clear-cut, with the final margin being under 1 percent, reflecting how contentious politics has become in South Korea recently.

Suk-yeol ran on a platform promising to deregulate digital asset markets, lower taxes on crypto and reimburse victims of crypto fraud, in addition to tackling the stagnating South Korean economy and soaring housing prices.


New Direction for Crypto in South Korea

The previous South Korean president, Moon Jae-In, had been relatively anti-crypto, cracking down on South Korean-based exchanges in 2021 and forcing the vast majority of them to shut down.

The new president has taken a forward-looking approach to crypto, vowing to take what he characterises as a more realistic regulatory stance:

To realise the unlimited potential of the virtual asset market, we must overhaul regulations that are far from reality and unreasonable.

Newly elected South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol

Crypto Becoming More Politically Relevant 

In a sign of its growing political significance, crypto was used by both major parties to appeal to younger demographics. In addition to offering crypto-friendly policies, the candidates from both major parties minted election-related NFTs to demonstrate their crypto bonafides during the campaign.

Following the executive order released by US President Biden this week, this election in South Korea may signal the beginning of a trend towards increased regulatory clarity and adoption for cryptocurrencies globally.

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

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