Ripples latest input of USD 50 million to its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) in South Korea demonstrates the company’s intent to promote more interest in cryptocurrency in South Korea in the future.
The crypto space in South Korea is booming and has become world’s third-largest crypto market, but this is mainly company driven, as South Korean legislators have largely been reticent towards any kind of progressive moment in the industry. Cryptocurrency activity is mainly unregulated as the central bank and financial regulators refuse to recognize it as a currency or financial product.
In early May, the new Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) governor Yoon Suk-heun revealed his positive outlook on cryptocurrencies, stating, “There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed and reviewed. We can figure them out but gradually.”
It is just this “gradual” process that Ripple would like to see accelerated. The company is urging the government to loosen regulations, setting its own example by making the donation of over USD 50 million to various universities across the country as part of a project which promotes and disseminates blockchain and cryptocurrency across the globe. There are 17 universities currently beneficiaries to Ripple’s program. Korea University is the only East Asian university on the list.
Ripple senior VP Eric van Miltenburg echoed views expressed recently by Joe Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum:
“Frankly, if you think back to the early age of the internet, there were some people that only looked at the negative aspects of the internet saying we should shut it down for a while until we figure out what’s going on, and what’s good and what’s bad.”
He added that a more plausible approach was to examine specific use cases and applying regulations to protect users.
South Korea’s ban on ICOs and its tightening of crypto regulations have driven many investors to search for more less stressful pastures overseas. The negative impact on the industry created by this is certainly a driving force in Ripple’s decision to extend its university blockchain plan to South Korea.
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