South Korea cryptocurrency ban on ice after backlash
The South Korean Government’s plans to impose a cryptocurrency ban on the country’s exchanges have been met with a severe backlash after more than 100,000 residents signed petitions to curb the ban.
This has seen the local authorities soften their rhetoric surrounding the proposed ban, most likely in order to calm the storms that rose after their initial intentions were made clear. “The proposed shutdown of exchanges that the justice minister recently mentioned is one of the measures suggested by the justice ministry to curb speculation. A government-wide decision will be made in the future after sufficient consultation and coordination of opinions,” the country’s Office for Government Policy Coordination said in a statement.
Last Thursday the South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-Yeon admitted that the issue required more consultation from relevant government departments. “All government ministries agree on the need for a government response to an overheating in crypto currency speculation and for a degree of regulation,” he explained, according to the outlet Yonhap. “The issue of banning exchanges that the justice minister talked about yesterday is a proposal by the Justice Ministry and it needs more coordination among ministries.”
South Korea has been threatening to heavily regulate cryptocurrency enterprises following suspicions that tax evasion, money laundering and a host of other illegal activities are taking place behind the virtual currencies. Last week authorities raided some of South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges while last month The South Korean government announced it would ban anonymous accounts with cryptocurrency exchanges, according to a report by Reuters.
The investigations have since escalated, too. Last week it was reported that authorities were closely looking at six local banks that offer up virtual-currency accounts to institutions to see if real names were mandatory for new accounts. The price of both Bitcoin and Etherium endured a drop after news of the proposed ban. And as we reported last week, China has stepped up their attempts to curb mining operations amidst fears of heavy energy consumption.