South Korea: Lawmakers Clamor for Less Stringent Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Policies


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A group of South Korean lawmakers have expressed concern over the strict regulatory policies of the Financial Service Commission (FSC) on the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector and subsequently called for deregulation. Despite repeated calls for less stringent regulations, the government is yet to do much in that regard. This according to a report by The Korea Herald, April 7, 2019.

Strict Policies Stifle Cryptocurrency Industry Growth

South Korean lawmakers recently called for the deregulation of the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. According to the legislators, the FSC seems unyielding in loosening the regulatory laws.

A member of the ruling Democratic Party, Rep. Min Byung-doo, commenting on the government’s strict rules concerning the virtual currency sector, opined:

“It is true that the Korean government has enacted strong regulations over the cryptocurrency market. The government said it would lower regulation barriers, but cryptocurrency and blockchain are not subject (to such a move), which is a contradiction. It is now time to review previous regulations and ease them according to needs.”

Rep. Min, who is also the head of the parliamentary National Policy Committee, stated that he would pitch the deregulation idea to the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in. The lawmaker further stated that top presidential aides would also be consulted.

Criticisms have trailed South Korea’s stringent outlook towards distributed ledger technology (DLT) and digital currency. The lawmakers of the main opposition party, Liberty Korea Party, said that the present administration isn’t embracing innovations that would grow the country.

Opposition lawmaker Rep. Song Hee-gyoung who initiated a bill in favor of blockchain support said that even though people depend on DLT for technology advancement, the needed support system is absent. The lawmaker further said, “the government’s vision of promoting the blockchain industry is nothing but talk.”

The Quest for Friendlier Crypto Laws in South Korea

South Korea is home to some of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world. The Asian nation also boasts a thriving blockchain industry in a culture that was already steeped in the digital landscape long before the emergence of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

However, many stakeholders in the country feel the government could do more to support the burgeoning industry with less stringent regulations. Following the government’s initial ban of ICOs in September 2017, lawmakers in the country called for the legalization of ICOs during a blockchain forum. The government, however, reiterated its stance in the first quarter of 2019.

Back in 2018, South Korean lawyers requested a legal framework for virtual currency and blockchain technology. The lawyers called for the government to ease its claws on virtual currency and DLT, and instead, propose bills that would aid growth and development of the sector.

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