South Korea is not banning crypto trading
There has been conflicting commentary about the country’s stance on digital currency trading recently.
South Korea has “no intention” of halting cryptocurrency trading, according to the country’s finance minister.
South Korea’s finance minister Kim Dong-yeon silenced persistent rumors of a potential government-enforced crypto trading ban in a statement released today, according to Reuters.
“There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency (market),” Kim said.
These comments may help to alleviate concerns for traders globally, considering South Korea is one of the largest cryptocurrency commerce hubs. There has been much conflicting commentary about the country’s stance on digital currency trading over the past few weeks. In early January, South Korea’s attorney general outlined the possibility of implementing a domestic trading ban. However, these measures were not finalized.
Last week, reports surfaced that the South Korean government was planning to enforce corporate tax policy on local cryptocurrency exchanges from the end of March 2018. Following this, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission released anti-money laundering guidelines with the underlying goal of only allowing accounts with a users’ real name to be used for cryptocurrency trading. Additionally, the communications regulator fined eight domestic crypto exchanges for having “very weak” personal information protection policies.
Illegal forex crypto trading
Kim went on to say that South Korea’s customs service has been “closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency” as part of the government’s recently established crypto task force.
The task force consists of several government bodies, including the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Fair Trade Commission, Financial Services Commission and Financial Supervisory Commission.
Customs said around 637.5 billion won (US$596 million) in foreign exchange crypto crimes were discovered. Illegal foreign currency trading (472.3 billion won) was the primary offence for crypto-related crimes. Despite the severity and magnitude of the breaches, penalties and punishments have not yet been disclosed.
Reuters reports that in one particular case, an illicit foreign exchange agency collected 1.7 billion won (US$1.6 million) in digital currency from local residents using an “electric wallet” and transferred the contents to a partner agent overseas, who distributed the virtual currency to intended clients in that country.
It isn’t only Korea that has been debating the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies and imposing regulatory actions. Two major United States financial regulators have announced that they will be dedicating significant resources to monitoring the expanding Initial Coin Offering (ICO) marketplace that spawns cryptocurrencies.
A number of the world’s central banks, and the governments responsible for them, have called for tighter regulation of cryptocurrencies in order to prevent misuse, deter anonymous trading and boost transparency.