Bitcoin: South Korea intends to regulate cryptocurrencies (or not)

by bold-lichterman

Update (14:18): The American site TechCrunch reports that a spokesperson for the South Korean Presidency is said to have said that the Justice Minister’s statements regarding the cryptocurrency trading ban were solely his own and did not represent the government’s position. TechCrunch however confirms the information of Reuters concerning searches by the authorities of major South Korean trading platforms.


The South Korean government announced Thursday that it is considering banning the exchange of cryptocurrencies, according to information relayed by Reuters. As is now required, the announcement had an immediate impact on the markets, causing prices to worsen in an environment known for its volatility. Bitcoin yielded more than 10% on Thursday morning, trading at $ 13,105 (5:00 UTC) according to CoinmarketCap, which withdrew information from South Korean exchanges from its price calculation. In South Korea, the drop reached more than 20%, with the currency trading at a premium of 30% over other markets, however, given the success of cryptocurrencies in the country.

This is Justice Minister Park Sang-kiApple-converted-space “> is a major player in cryptocurrency trading, since the country alone represents 20% of global bitcoin exchanges: it is about 10 times more than South Korea’s weight in the global economic scene. Many small savers, from students to housewives, have given in to the bitcoin madness: there are a million cryptocurrency owners, for 50 million inhabitants. This mass craze is even qualified by some as an addiction equivalent to that encountered in the field of gambling, which would have pushed the authorities to act, in addition to concerns about the risks of money laundering or financial fraud.

As early as last year, Seoul had already set several regulatory milestones in an attempt to stem speculation: halt on ICOs in September, thenBitcoin South Korea intends to regulate cryptocurrencies or not

Seoul, South Korea. Photo credit: Emile-Victor Portenar

Coinone and Bithumb, two of the country’s largest marketplaces, were visited by police and tax officials on suspicion of tax evasion. The Ministry of Finance is also working on tax measures, encouraging some small investors to exit their profits early.

South Korea is not the only country to take the issue of cryptocurrency regulation head-on. The subject occupies governments and regulatory bodies in many countries. The site Quartz revealed yesterday that the Chinese Central Bank was going to take measures to control and limit cryptocurrency mining, or even ban mining farms, seeking according to the terms chosen by the instance a “Orderly exit” activities. In September, Beijing had already banned ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), then suspended trading on BTCChina. In France, Bruno Lemaire requested the inclusion of the subject on the agenda of the next G20 finance ministers next April, while Gérard Darmanin, Public Accounts, reminded taxpayers of their reporting obligations.

However, despite the short-term impacts of these decisions on the price of cryptocurrencies, they continue to rise from their ashes and maintain maddening growth over time. At the announcement of the closure of activities on BTCChina, the health of bitcoin was already causing concern, then unscrewing 30% to $ 3,600. Three months later, the most famous cryptocurrency chained records and flirted with the $ 20,000 mark, before stabilizing at around $ 15,000.