Government Supportive of “Normal” Crypto Trading, S Korean Regulator Says
The governor of the Financial Supervisory Service has met with exchanges to tell them that the South Korean government would support cryptocurrency trading as long as it involves "normal transactions."
The drama in the South Korean government with regard to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be drawing to a favorable conclusion, as suggested by the reassuring message regulators had for crypto exchanges.
Choe Heung-sik, governor of Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service, recently met with representatives from some of the largest local exchanges and told them the government “will support [cryptocurrency trading] if normal transactions are made.”
However, this rather vague term comes with some context since the proposed ban on Korean cryptocurrency exchanges was motivated by speculative frenzy from ordinary citizens and concerns about money laundering.
The country’s softening stance on cryptocurrencies may have been one of the key factors in the market recovery. The total crypto market capitalization climbed up to $500 billion after plunging to a low of just under $300 billion in early 2018.
Still, many banks in South Korea are unwilling to open virtual accounts for cryptocurrency trading, perpetuating the liquidity problem that most exchanges face.
Choe said the government would “encourage” local banks to allow exchanges to make transactions again.
The drama still has some way to go, however. Jung Ki-joon, the head of South Korea’s Economic Policy Coordination Office, was found dead in his home on Sunday.
It appears that Jung suffered a heart attack in his sleep, but a coroner has yet to confirm the cause of death. People around Jung saw him under a considerable amount of stress during the period when he was drafting legislation to counter any illegal trading of cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, Choe’s assertion seems to chime in with remarks made about a months ago by the Financial Consumer Agency, which said that any ban on cryptocurrency trading would be an illegal and irresponsible interference by the government.
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