South Korea Government Beats Slow Retreat on Cryptocurrency Ban

15 January, 2018, 19:30 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Bitcoin tokens are displayed in this

After coming with a decision to ban cryptocurrency trading, South Korea may be now reconsidering its decision.

Politicians had previously sought to impose strict controls on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading activities within a seemingly very short timeframe.

South Korea has been one of the keenest adopters of bitcoin but the country's justice minister, Park Sang-ki, said in a press conference on Thursday that the government had "great concerns" about digital currencies, Reuters reported.

Well firstly forget the shutdown, that was just noise from a headline seeking official, the only real question in South Korea is whether or not transactions will be able to occur anonymously, and the impact of a ruling against anonymous transactions will be nearly zero.

Cryptocurrencies have rapidly gained popularity in recent weeks among South Korean investors hoping to make quick money, prompting the government to announce a plan to rein in the frenzy over virtual currency in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

While recognizing investor autonomy until further policy decisions, the office also called for prudence and responsibility and reiterated its plan to push for real-name transactions and to deal sternly with illegal actions involving cryptocurrency trading. The closing stanzas of the first act came with a building crescendo in December when the government first announced an emergency meeting to review cryptocurrencies followed by the announcement of regulations just prior to the new year.

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The confirmation by the South Korean government is reassuring news for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

"Monday's announcement suggests that a shutdown is not likely in the near future", Yonhap concludes.

"The Justice Minister's proposal (last week) to shut down virtual currency marketplaces was only one of the many discussions that took place on measures to curb market speculation", said Jung Ki-joon, head of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, in a media briefing.

The government has maintained that aside from considering exchange closures, it would keep a close eye on all transactions to detect market manipulation, money laundering and tax evasion through a task force composed of the police, prosecutor's office and other "appropriate regulatory agencies".

A pedestrian walks by a cryptocurrency trading board in Seoul.

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