The South Korean government has clarified that there will not be a cryptocurrency trading ban in the near future. President Moon Jae-in’s executive office Blue House spokesperson Jeng Ki-joon confirmed the information during a public press conference on January 15, 2018.
In the statement, Jeong said:
“First, the South Korean government will pursue the crackdown on anonymous cryptocurrency trading accounts and will punish market manipulation, money laundering, and fraudulent transactions through joint investigations participated by the local law enforcement and financial authorities.
Second, the cryptocurrency trading ban proposal introduced by Justice Minister Park Sang-ki was a suggestion made by the Justice Ministry on December 28 to bring speculation within the cryptocurrency market under control. The proposal will be discussed and changed by the task force participated by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, central bank, Fair Trade Commission, and other agencies.
Third, excessive speculation and fraudulent activities will be met with severe consequences. But, the government will support and even finance blockchain technology development.”
The confirmation by the South Korean government is reassuring news for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The news sent bitcoin tumbling 12 percent before recovering, meanwhile ethereum fell by 7.6%. Right now, the price of bitcoin is steady around $14,400. Both cryptocurrencies are very popular in South Korea; 20% of bitcoin transactions are made up from users in South Korea while more than 10% of ethereum is traded against the South Korean won.
Foreigners and underage investors will be banned from trading cryptocurrencies in the country from January 20th, and by the end of the month, South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges are also expected to reopen registrations for new users and investors.