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South Korea May Shut Down all Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the Country

All Virtual Currency Exchanges in South Korea Could Be Banned

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South Korea vowed that it would make a decision on Thursday as to whether they will shut down all exchanges in the country, or only those that flaunt the law. Choi Jong-Ku, the head of the country’s financial services regulator, gave the answer in response to a question at the national policy committee meeting.

The response shows that the government has no intention of letting up on the crackdown on cryptocoin trading in the country. This will also help to clear up confusion around virtual currencies in the country, which has been occasioned by opposing comments from different government bodies.

Other Confusing Comments in Recent Times

On January 11th, the Ministry of Justice in the country had said that they planned to shut down all exchanges within the country. However, soon afterwards, the President’s office commented that the plans had not yet been finalized and discussions were still ongoing. This lack of clarity has led to a lot of backlash from both politicians and the citizens of the nation.

For now, it would appear that different government officials hold different perspectives on cryptocurrency. Hong Nam-ki, who is the minister for the office of policy coordination, said that while officials have different opinions, an upcoming meeting would help them come to a decision on virtual currency exchanges.

The country’s central bank also added its voice to the discussion. They indicated that they may look at a different approach to cryptocurrency, specifically the underlying technology.

According to a report published in Reuters, the governor of the Central Bank said that while cryptocoins are not legal; the bank was researching the issuance of central bank-issued coins. He said,

We have started looking at virtual currency from a long-term standpoint, as central banks could start issuing digital currencies in the future. This sort of research was begun at the Bank of International Settlements, and we are part of that research.

How South Koreans Have Reacted to Tighter Regulation

Most South Koreans have not been happy with the new measures introduced by the government. In fact, a petition has been launched in direct opposition to this opposition. Thus far, there is a petition that has garnered more than 200 thousand signatures opposing these measures.

With politicians adding their voice to this debate, it could become a major political issue. In fact, it could even affect the outcome of elections if the government continues down this path. However, South Korea would not be the first country to take such harsh measures against virtual currencies. In September, China outlawed all exchanges in the country and worked hard to ensure that  none of them would operate within its borders.

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