The cryptocurrency industry in South Korea is counting on better times as the market regulators have eased their stiff stance on the virtual coin trade and instead have promised to help promote blockchain technology.
South Korea has become a hub for cryptocurrency trade and the regulators hope to normalise the virtual coin business, giving it a self-regulatory environment.
Choe Heung-sik, chief of South Korea’s Finance Supervisory Service (FSS), told reporters, “The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalisation than increasing regulation.” FSS has been leading the government’s regulation of cryptocurrency trading as part of a task force.
Choe’s comments have given a new hope to cryptocurrency operators as they can clearly see the government’s co-operation in their plans for self-regulation.
“Though the government and the industry have not yet reached a full agreement, the fact that the regulator himself made clear the government’s stance on co-operation is a positive sign for the markets,” said Kim Haw-joon of the Korea Blockchain Association.
This news comes in stark contrast to the justice minister’s previous warnings in January, where he hinted that the government was considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, sending the market into chaos.
Instead, to stop cryptocurrencies from being used for money laundering and other such crimes, South Korea has banned the use of anonymous bank accounts for virtual coin trading as of January 30.
In January, the local media reported that South Korean electronics giant Samsung has already started production of cryptocurrency mining technologies.
Bitcoin BTC=BTSP, globally the most heavily traded cryptocurrency, is now changing hands at a three-week high of $11,086 on the Luxembourg-based Biststamp exchange after falling as low as $5,920.72 in early February.