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The Korea Financial Services Commission (FSC) introduced new rules to further detail the anti-money laundering (AML) requirements on virtual assets under the revised Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information, which went into effect on March 25, 2021.


The Act defines “Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs)” as business entities which engage in one or more of the following activities or operations:

  • purchase and sales of virtual assets;
  • exchanges between virtual assets;
  • transfer of virtual assets;
  • safekeeping and administration of virtual assets;
  • intermediation or brokerages of virtual asset transactions; exchange of virtual assets; and
  • other activities specified by the…

The Korean government has approved revisions to the Insurance Business Act, opening to the path to introduce a small-sum, short-term specialized insurance (SSI) business with a variety of insurance coverage such as pet, leisure and travel insurance, effective from June 9, 2021.

Korea is thus following Japan in creating an SSI regime. We have previously covered Japan’s Small Insurance License in detail. Alas, while Japan’s capital requirements are quite modest, with capital at a mere JPY 10 million (USD 90,000), Korea will require a minimum capital of KRW 2 billion (USD 1.8 million).

SSI licensees are allowed to provide insurance…

Sony Financial, now a fully consolidated subsidiary of Sony Group, participated in the Investor Day last week, and revealed….not much. After Sony showed Third Point’s Dan Loeb the proverbial middle finger last year, as it proceeded to acquire outstanding shares and delist Sony Financial, instead of spinning it off as the activist investor demanded (also see our: The Battle for Sony Financial Holdings), one would be forgiven for expecting a thorough medium-term plan to be revealed. Alas, to save you much head-scratching, here is the punch line from the presentation:

The Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA), the financial services regulator, has issued a formal warning letter to the Bybit cryptocurrency exchange and bitcoin futures trading platform.

As we discussed during our recent Tokyo FinTech Meetup on the travel rule, and especially the experience with the implementation in Switzerland, similar legislation was expected to be under way in the Netherlands, and Germany, among others. The German Ministry of Finance has now published a draft of these rules, which is open to public comment until June 14.

Photo by Luke Paris on Unsplash

On Monday, May 24th, 2021, the Bank of Korea (BOK) has issued a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) to select a technology service provider for their “Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Simulation Study”, which is expected to run for ten months.

Bids submitted to the Bank of Korea will be evaluated on their technical merit, and negotiation of commercial terms. The BOK intends to implement a CBDC simulation environment using distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the cloud, and test the utility of CBDC and whether all tasks are operating as expected.

Just like the majority of central banks around the globe (as per…

The Bank of Japan has (BOJ) announced that it will hold the a session on “Central Bank Digital Currency Supporting Technology” on June 11th, 2021, which is open to the public through email application.

The BOJ reiterated that it has no plans to issue Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) at this time, but from the perspective of ensuring the stability and efficiency of the entire payment system, they work towards being well prepared to respond to various changes in the environment in the future.

Accordingly, in April the BOJ has started the first stage of a demonstration experiment to verify…

The Seoul Fintech Lab was established in 2019 and since then, has been funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. To date, close to 100 FinTech startups, including 26 foreign companies, have been supported through the incubation program. The Seoul Fintech Lab aims to help accelerate FinTech companies’ growth with its global network of over 300 partners and mentors, which include highly experienced investors, entrepreneurs and regulators. …

Source: DBS 2021 — First Quarter Results

DBS has set up a technology company together with JP Morgan and Temasek to change the way cross-border payments and settlements work. While the entity is not yet fully operational, initially Partior is expected to launch for SGD and USD payments within Singapore. DBS are also talking to core settlement banks for add-on currencies such as JPY, EUR and possibly RMB. Then participant banks would come in to clear their corporate and treasury payments. Partior leverages the groundwork that has been laid with “Project Ubin” by the banks previously. …

First quarter results are in, and this time we have the benefit of comparing any exchange to the gold standard, with US-based Coinbase choosing the path of a direct listing, and registering an eye-popping market capitalization of close to USD 80bn on the first trading day. So you can bet that any crypto exchange operator around the globe is doing the comparison. Alas, as of the close last Friday, Coinbase’s market cap has leveled off some, coming in at around USD 52.5bn.

Regardless, with the numbers available to us, we can determine that Coincheck achieves more than 6% of Coinbase’s…

Norbert Gehrke

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