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South Korean Officials Say No Cryptocurrency Trading Ban

South Korea’s Presidential Office said today that a plan to ban trading cryptocurrencies via exchanges in the nation is still not set in stone.

The office spoke out after news reports indicated Wednesday that the South Korean Justice Department is planning legislation that would pave the way for exchanges in the country to be shut down to largely halt cryptocurrency trading. The Ministry did this without the consent of the Ministry of Strategy and Justice and other government agencies involved in the South Korean cryptocurrency regulation task force.

According to the Blue House, more than 60,000 citizens voted in a petition to fire the head of the Ministry of Justice Park Sang-ki, who released a premature statement earlier today, on January 11, that the government will implement a policy to shut down cryptocurrency trading.

Almost immediately after Minister Park released his statement, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance emphasized that it does not support or agree with the decision of the Ministry of Justice to ban cryptocurrency trading. It also added that the Ministry of Strategy and Finance only found out about the statement of Minister Park through media reports, and the decision to ban cryptocurrency trading was not agreed upon by the task force.

In 2016, former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who is currently in jail for money laundering and corruption charges, was impeached by the people of the country who strongly voiced out their opposition against the former president. Millions of South Korean citizens came out to the streets and surrounded the Blue House, until the court decided to finally process the impeachment.

Since then, the voice of the South Korean citizens has strengthened and the new government, led by the current President Moon Jae-in, vowed to listen to the people.

In consideration of past events and the government’s announcement that cryptocurrency trading ban will not implemented in the short-term, it is likely that the South Korean government will move towards regulating and fostering the local cryptocurrency market.

Ban unlikely even in long-term

Previously, a spokesperson from the South Korean cryptocurrency task force stated that the country will follow the regulatory roadmap set by major regions like Japan and the US. Hence, it is highly unlikely that even in the long-term, a cryptocurrency trading ban will be imposed. The spokesperson said:

“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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