South Korea latest country to phase out coinage

Controversies abound in the world of finance.

The Panama Papers recently shone a light on off-shore banking; the banks are debating a change in interest rates; the government continues to devise innovative revenue-generating tools (a.k.a. taxes); and the working class continues its fight for a $15 minimum wage.

All the while governments around the world are contemplating the role coinage plays in their economies (you’ll remember Canada scrapped its one-cent coin in 2012). The latest country to join the debate is South Korea, which plans to phase out all of its coinage by 2020. The Bank of Korea has been limiting the number of coins it mints, reducing that total by nearly a third in the past decade.

As previously reported here by CCN, other Asian countries, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), have already phased out their coinage. Thailand’s Royal Thai Mint is trying to convince the CLMV countries to return to coins, claiming it’s more durable compared to paper money.

The debate will continue this May 1-8, when Thailand’s Treasury Department hosts the 29th Mint Director Conference in Bangkok and Phuket, where participants from 47 countries will meet to discuss the future of coins, among other things.

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