The regulation rumor mill has been churning particularly hard in recent months, with South Korea and China taking center stage. But recent headlines are suggesting that the South Korean government, at least, may finally be coming around.
As one of the busiest markets for cryptocurrency trade, regulation rumors sent prices of cryptos across the board tumbling. But now, a key regulator, Choe Heung-sik, chief of South Korea’s Finance Supervisory Service, has reassured his citizens that an outright ban is off the table.
Not only is the much-feared ban of cryptos off the table, Choe hopes the country will normalize cryptocurrency business in a self-regulatory environment.
“The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation,” Choe told reporters.
This news inspires hope in many crypto-enthusiasts looking for reassurance in the marketplace. This is certainly a far cry from the Justice Minister’s January warnings of a potential shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.
While anonymous accounts in South Korean banks are forbidden to purchase cryptocurrencies in an attempt prevent crimes such as money laundering, several banks are adopting policies allowing customers to not only buy cryptos, but even preparing plans to integrate spending options in the near future.
Choe also mentioned that the government will ‘encourage’ banks to do business with cryptocurrency exchanges, noting that Shinhan Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, and NH Bank are already offering accounts to a number of local exchanges.
The wave of positivity coming from regulatory officials has clearly had an impact on crypto prices in the past few days, with bitcoin finally showing signs of recovery.
The government’s apparent change of heart also paves the way for corporations, such as Samsung which is launching its own brand of crypto-mining hardware, to do business with the blessing of regulators.
By Michael Kern