The Korea Times has reported that government officials in South Korea are weighing options that would ease restrictions on cryptocurrency assets. The news comes as South Korea’s government is working to develop a legal and regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry as part of the G20 commitment to establishing “unified regulations” by July.
According to one unnamed official, the Financial Services Commission’s crackdown on certain crypto-related activities should not be viewed as opposition to cryptocurrency technology:
"The FSC made revisions to its rules to apply strengthened policies in order to prevent or detect money laundering and illegal activities because the regulator isn't opposed to cryptocurrencies.”
Officials have noted that government agencies are unlikely to alter their position on crypto assets but are seeking greater international cooperation to ensure that uniform rules are established for the industry. An official from the country’s trade ministry said that incremental policy shifts are the goal, to ensure that the country “properly and prudently” regulates crypto-related activities”
"Any major reversal in policies is unlikely, but the government seems to believe a gradual shift in attitude toward crypto-based assets is needed. What regulators should do is figure out how to regulate them properly and prudently as Korea needs to put more emphasis on blockchain technology after obtaining knowhow and understanding of the possible flipside of cryptocurrency trading.”
South Korean officials are currently moving on several crypto-related fronts, including an effort at the National Assembly to develop a bill that would legalize initial coin offerings (ICOs). In addition, the National Tax Agency and Ministry of Strategy and Finance continue their efforts to create a tax framework for digital currencies.