Published: Thu, February 01, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

S Korea says no plans to ban cryptocurrency exchanges

S Korea says no plans to ban cryptocurrency exchanges

The fourth-largest economy South Korea has detected cryptocurrency crimes worth a total of $594.35 million.

Finance minister Kim Dong-yeon was questioned about the government's plans to regulate the virtual market and said "there is no intention to pan or suppress" the market.

In the USA, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has sent subpoenas to a major Bitcoin exchange and Tether, a widely traded cryptocurrency, Bloomberg reported.

Cryptocurrencies are still reeling after a record $500 million heist from Japanese exchange Coincheck on January 26, further intensifying calls for increased oversight in global trading hotbeds such as South Korea.

Seoul previously reported that it was contemplating shutting down the local cryptocurrency exchanges that had thrown the market into agitation and as a result the bitcoin prices were hammered as well.

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Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3 billion won formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, Customs said, but gave no details on what action authorities were taking against the rule breaches. Later on, it was clarified by the office that outright ban happens to be one of the steps which are being considered.

The statement said domestic investors bought 1.7 billion won worth of cryptocurrencies, which they sent to overseas partner companies through virtual wallets.

Effective from January 30, authorities imposed rules which allow only real-name bank accounts to be used for cryptocurrency trading created to stop virtual coins from being used for money laundering and other crimes.

It said authorities will continue to monitor for any violations of foreign exchange rules or of money laundering activities.

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