South Korea’s government said its regulatory course on cryptocurrencies is aiming to “prevent any illegal acts or uncertainties” in fresh comments Wednesday, Feb. 14.
Quoted by various media outlets, the country’s minister of the office for government policy coordination Hong Nam-ki released a statement in response to last month’s public petition against harsh regulation or an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading.
The petition, posted on the site of the South Korean presidential office, has to date gathered over 200,000 signatures. The government is obliged to respond to a petition that gathers over 200,000 within 30 days.
“The government’s basic rule is to prevent any illegal acts or uncertainties regarding cryptocurrency trade, while eagerly nurturing blockchain technology,” Hong announced, continuing:
“But, the government is still divided with many opinions ranging from an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading to bringing the institutions that handle the currency into the system.”
The extent of public backlash after Justice Minister Park Sang-ki suggested laws were in the works to ban cryptocurrency exchanges and trading was such that the government as a whole was obliged to clarify its position shortly afterwards.
“There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency,” finance minister Kim Dong-yeon said in statement Jan. 31.
Today’s statement from the government emphasizing the “many opinions” at play makes clear that a final decision has yet to take place in the country.
The statements come just a day after another government source suggested a licensing scheme for crypto exchanges could be established following elections in June this year. The government official noted that the proposed system was modelled on New York’s BitLicense.
In Japan, a similar move to regulate crypto exchanges via a licensing system that began in 2017 is functioning successfully.