South Korea to Regulate Certain NFTs as Cryptocurrencies Starting June 10

  • The South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) has announced fresh regulatory guidelines regarding the treatment of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
  • These guidelines stipulate that certain NFTs will now be considered cryptocurrencies under specified conditions.
  • An official announcement stated that NFTs losing their unique characteristics may be subject to tighter regulations.

Discover how South Korea’s evolving regulations impact the NFT market and what it means for cryptocurrency stakeholders.

Criteria for NFT Classification

The FSC has outlined that NFTs which are mass-produced, easily tradable, divisible, or frequently used for payments will be reclassified as cryptocurrencies. More static NFTs, such as digital proofs of transactions or concert tickets, which hold little economic value and are non-transferable, will remain under the traditional NFT classification. The regulatory body has emphasized a case-by-case evaluation approach for NFTs that are produced in bulk and exhibit traits similar to cryptocurrencies.

Context and Details

This development aims to bring clarity to the regulatory landscape, ensuring that NFTs serving a financialized or transactional role are subjected to comprehensive oversight. The FSC spokesperson pointed out that there’s no one-size-fits-all yardstick for this classification, thereby necessitating individualized scrutiny of NFT offerings.

Implementation Timeline of the New Law

The FSC’s guidelines will come into effect ahead of the Crypto Asset User Protection Act, South Korea’s first detailed legal framework for the crypto industry, which rolls out on July 19. This act is designed to eliminate unethical market conduct and bolster investor protection by implementing strict regulatory standards for the industry.

Protection Measures

The act mandates that cryptocurrency service providers must store over 80% of user funds in cold storage solutions. Additionally, these service providers are required to join insurance programs aimed at covering user losses in the event of a security breach. This phased approach to legislation is indicative of South Korea’s commitment to establishing robust infrastructure for crypto operations, focusing initially on security and later extending to token issuance and investor disclosure practices.

Market Implications

The reclassification of mass-produced NFTs as cryptocurrencies could lead to tighter regulatory scrutiny and compliance requirements for issuers and traders. At the same time, traditional, non-transferable NFTs will continue to enjoy their current status, somewhat simplifying the regulatory framework for these digital assets.

  • NFTs that are mass-produced will face stringent regulations similar to those for cryptocurrencies.
  • Non-transferable NFTs with low economic value will retain their existing categorization.
  • Crypto service providers must secure over 80% of user funds in cold storage to enhance protection.
  • Compulsory insurance programs will be introduced to mitigate the risk of security incidents.


South Korea’s proactive stance in refining NFT and cryptocurrency regulations reflects its ambition to create a transparent and secure crypto market. By distinguishing between different types of NFTs and mandating robust security measures, the country is paving the way for a more regulated and safer environment for investors and service providers alike. This regulatory foresight could set a precedent for other nations to follow, balancing innovation with optimal investor protection.

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Gideon Wolf
Gideon Wolf
GideonWolff is a 27-year-old technical analyst and journalist with extensive experience in the cryptocurrency industry. With a focus on technical analysis and news reporting, GideonWolff provides valuable insights on market trends and potential opportunities for both investors and those interested in the world of cryptocurrency.

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