Bitcoin

South Korea Backs Off Bitcoin Ban

The official word from South Korea’s Blue House (the local equivalent of the White House) is in: there will be no ban on bitcoin trading in the near future for South Korea.

The news follows a massive backlash against the South Korean Ministry of Justice, which a little over 24 hours before had announced its plans to drop a ban on cryptocurrency trading. Complaints were widespread that the Justice Ministry had overstepped its bounds and moved prematurely without first consulting the Ministry of Finance and Strategy and other government agencies involved in the South Korean cryptocurrency regulation task force.

Around 60,000 citizens singed a petition to fire the head of the Ministry of Justice Park Sang-ki, who was the first official to refer to a government shutdown of cryptocurrency trading. Shorty after that announcement, the Ministry of Finance and Strategy released an official statement of disagreement and noted the decision to ban cryptocurrency trading was not agreed upon by the task force. They also complained that they were not informed before they read about it in the paper.

But, as of the latest word from South Korean president Moon Jae-in, a full ban is unlikely to ever actually go into place. The likelier outcome, according to experts, is that South Korea will be moving toward a more heavily regulated crypto market.

Previously, the South Korean cryptocurrency task force had indicated their intention was to follow the regulatory roadmap set by nations like Japan and the U.S. Hence, it is highly unlikely that — even in the longterm — a cryptocurrency trading ban will be imposed.

“The South Korean government has no other choice but to follow the regulatory frameworks and trends established by other leading governments. While there certainly exists a negative reputation attached to the cryptocurrencies, the government’s stance is to allow what has to be allowed, for the benefit of the South Korean market.”

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