Korean government won’t ban cryptocurrency exchanges for now

The recent response by the government to the
country’s cryptocurrency craze…. came as a bit of a shock. But we finally had some confirmation on Monday…..
that any drastic move like banning exchanges….. will only be decided after thorough discussions
on the matter….. as the technology involved…. could be a driver of economic grwoth in the
future. Our Lee Ji-won reports. The Korean government’s announcement Monday
wasn’t the blow many crypto traders had feared — a ban on virtual currency exchanges — rather,
officials said there hasn’t been a decision yet. (Korean)
“Any plan to shut down the exchanges,… which is one possible way to curb speculation as
suggested by the justice minister last month,… will be decided after thorough discussions
and coordination in the government.” The government also said that it’ll continue
to push forward with a plan to require investors’ real names in cryptocurrency trading, and
that price manipulation and other crimes will be punished severely. But the government also showed a change in
tone, saying it will invest in research and development of blockchain technology, the
computer code that makes cryptocurrency unique. This follows a number of announcements by
the government in the past month amid cryptocurrency’s exponential rise. Korea is now the third-largest bitcoin trading
market in the world after Japan and the U.S.. And experts say there are reasons for the
government’s concerns. (Korean- )
“Koreans are investing in the virtual currency for the wrong reasons. They don’t see it as a new form of currency
that could make up for the shortcomings of the ones we have now,… but as a way to earn
huge sums of money in a short amount of time. And with the current security level of the
exchanges and the development of blockchain system,… it’s a very risky investment to
make.” Despite the huge potential blockchain technology
could have in the future, the expert said it’s still in the development stages,… and
that the relatively weak security of the crypto exchanges compared to banks make them more
prone to cyberattacks. (Korean- )
“The government is doing a good job in warning the public of a possible fall in the market. And having seen a lot of potential in the
technology, the government should step up investments in blockchain technology and nurture
companies to overcome the current shortcomings.” The expert added it’s also vital for the public
to see virtual currency not as a speculative tool but as a potential currency for the future. Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.

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