South Korea seems to be softening its position on cryptocurrency trading.
According to Yonhap News, Choe Heung-sik, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, has stated the government “will support [cryptocurrency trading] if normal transactions are made.”
At a meeting with representatives from cryptocurrency exchanges, Choe also stated the authorities will “encourage” banks to work with cryptocurrency trades, the report says.
While brief, the announcements will likely be viewed positively by South Korea’s crypto community, in addition to world markets, because the option to outright ban cryptocurrency exchanges had been mulled by regulators as one way to calm the nation’s heated cryptocurrency market and counter money-laundering.
After the news broke that South Korea might “ban or suppress” cryptocurrency trading, costs of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin dropped sharply in mid January. Shortly after, the nation’s finance minister moved to calm the markets stressing that regulating exchanges is the government’s “immediate task,” however he did not rule out a long term ban.
The statement comes soon after the country has moved to limit the market in other ways.
A ban on anonymous trading took effect on Jan. 30, and cryptocurrency transactions must be conducted via accounts attached to customers’ identities.
South Korea has since revealed that it is considering adopting a system similar to New York’s “BitLicense” for the regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to BusinessKorea, a government official involved with a virtual currency task force said Feb. 13: “We are favorably thinking about the adoption of an exchange endorsement system as the extra regulation on cryptocurrencies. We’re probably benchmark the model of the State of New York that gives a discerning permission [for trade operations].”