News broke out last Thursday, over an alleged decision by South Korea to ban all cryptocurrency trading. The Minister of Justice, Mr. Park Sang-Ki held a news conference last Thursday to say “There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and the justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges.” Reacting to the news, the market lost $106 Billion USD in only a matter of hours. Since then, news has come out that the South Korean Government will not only allow cryptocurrency trading, but is also looking into firing the Minister of Justice over this ordeal. it’s clear the Ministry of Justice in South Korea may have overstepped their position and power, going against their own citizens’ views as well.
The South Korean Government’s Stance..
The South Korean President’s office stated there are no plans in action yet, and nothing is set in stone. The market has since bounced, showing signs of recovery and strength after an almost -13.25% move downward due to these false statements. Regulations have become a growing concern in recent months, as major governments clamp down on unregulated higher risk trading practices like margin trading. One solution to government regulations is moving towards decentralized exchanges, the current problem being that centralized exchanges, are always going to be an open target for lawmakers. This year is showing to be interesting in the centralized vs. decentralized debate, and it is believed that 2018 will finally showcase some of the best utilization’s of decentralized exchanges.
In a different statement, the SK government said “The South Korean government has no other choice, but to follow the regulatory frameworks and trends established by other leading governments. While there certainly exists a negative reputation attached to the cryptocurrencies, the government’s stance is to allow what has to be allowed, for the benefit of the South Korean market.” What they are referring to here is the framework laid out by the U.S. and Japan lawmakers; if you look at these countries currently, they are implementing laws which would allow, and possibly even encourage use of the technology and trading.
The Citizens’ Thoughts..
An online petition calling for the impeachment of the South Korean Minister of Justice has garnered over 120,000 signatures thus far.* It is easy to see why the citizens of South Korea are calling for change, as the President and remaining South Korean government all show dissent towards the Minister of Justice’s words. One citizen scrutinized the ministry’s decision to release an unofficial statement, petitioning that he had lost money on the stock and cryptocurrency markets due to their irresponsible and potentially unconstitutional remarks.* This quick denial from the majority of the South Korean government has shown that major governments are siding with the peoples’ economic decisions and see cryptocurrency as a way to grow their economies. This is a definite shift in mentality since the last time regulations hit the market they caused a major pullback due to Chinese lawmakers. Though many would say government regulations are not needed, it is still hard to deny the positive adoption by governments even with recent drama surrounding them.