The incoming head of Korea’s primary financial regulator has reportedly confirmed that the authority will look to ease regulations on domestic cryptocurrency trading.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday after being approved by President Moon Jae-in to lead the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), new governor Yoon Suk-heun said the regulator will look at revising some regulations applied to the cryptocurrency market, The Korea Times reports.
Yoon, a visiting professor at Seoul National University, was nominated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) – Korea’s financial regulator – to lead the FSS, which it directs. The new governor is seen as a “reform-minded” activist with experience as a bureaucrat in the country.
He told reporters:
Regarding cryptocurrencies, there are some positive aspects…The FSS will collaborate with the FSC when an inspection on policies and financial institutions has different configurations associated with different scopes. FSC inspects policies, while the FSS examines and supervises financial institutions but with the oversight of the FSC.
As reported in September, the FSS notably issued the ban order to completely curtail initial coin offerings (ICOs) in South Korea. In January, the FSC enforced a ban on all anonymous cryptocurrency trading by mandating – among both crypto exchanges and the banks providing services to them – the use of real-name trading accounts.
The latter move, seen as a measure that would curb anonymous trading while encouraging KYC-enabled practices in the industry, has dented the market instead.
“Markets expected the introduction of the real-name registration system would have been helpful to revive trading, but these efforts failed as local banks were reluctant to invite more crypto traders,” a Bithumb official told the Korea Times.
Yoon declined to elaborate on the possible regulatory changes the FSS would consider for crypto exchanges when queried by reporters, stating:
There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed and reviewed. We can figure them out but gradually.
The newly softened stance comes at a time when a group of lawmakers led by a politician from Korea’s ruling party is working on a new bill to legalize ICOs in South Korea after last year’s ban.
New FSS chief Yoon Suk-heun will begin his tenure at the job on Tuesday, May 8. The subject of cryptocurrencies and ICOs are certain to come up again when the Yoon fields questions during a press conference facing local and international media tomorrow.
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