Following months of uncertainty, the South Korean authorities appear to still be on the fence about cryptocurrency trading and continues to send mixed signals, as per most recent media reports.
According to a report of the local business news outlet Business Korea from earlier this week, the authorities are considering the adoption of a New York BitLicense-type of regulation, but most likely this will not happen before the upcoming general elections in June. Considering that speculating on cryptocurrencies is the favorite pastime and source of additional income of the nation, this is a logical move.
“We are positively considering the adoption of an exchange approval system as the additional regulation on cryptocurrencies. We are most likely benchmark the model of the State of New York that gives a selective permission”, a government official told Business Korea. This would allow the authorities to supervise the exchanges, rather than shutting them down, as per earlier plans, and to bring them into the institutional system.
The news certainly brings a sigh of relief and a video of Hong Nam-ki, head of the office for policy coordination, sayng the government is taking a strong stance in bringing transparency to domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, confirms the latest shift.
Still, it seems that the possibility to entirely ban cryptocurrency trading in South Korea, similarly to China, is not entirely ruled out yet, according to Hong. He said that South Korea’s prime minister had recently indicated that prohibiting the use of cryptocurrency exchange is just one of many possibilities, but the government is not currently considering it.
“At the moment, the government places a priority on transparency of virtual currency transactions within the framework of current law,” Hong said, quoted by Coindesk.
South Korea is the second largest cryptocurrency market in terms of volume and home to some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges like Bithumb and Yobit. Most of the South Korean platforms do not accept traders from abroad and have recently banned anonymous trading accounts, as per the latest government requirements.