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The South Korean Minister of Strategy and Finance has met with the governor of the People’s Bank of China to discuss and share economic policies including cryptocurrency countermeasures. While China has imposed strict regulations on cryptocurrency trading, including closing down exchanges, South Korea has adopted a less strict approach.
Korea Discussing Crypto Policies With China
The South Korean Minister of Strategy and Finance, Kim Dong-yeon, on Friday met with the governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), Zhou Xiaochuan. While discussing the economic issues of both countries, the regulators also discussed their cryptocurrency policies, local media report.
China has imposed a ban on cryptocurrency trading including closing down domestic crypto exchanges. South Korea, however, has been successively releasing countermeasures for cryptocurrencies since December. The Korean government has considered various measures ranging from a complete ban suggested by the Ministry of Justice to less strict measures. At the end of last month, the regulators mandated the implementation of the new real-name account system for all cryptocurrency exchanges.
Kim was quoted by Newsis describing:
The two sides shared their opinions on the situation and policy responses of the two countries regarding the recent virtual currency issues.
During the meeting, the PBOC reaffirmed its close cooperation with the South Korean government, the news outlet added. The Korean ministry also said that it will continue to cooperate with the PBOC “through high-level consultation channels,” Asia Today reported.
Korea Avoids Closing Down Exchanges
While the South Korean government has continually emphasized the importance of strict measures to curb the overheated cryptocurrency market, closing down crypto exchanges has been avoided so far.
At the National Assembly Planning and Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday, Kim pointed out that there may be a problem of underground transactions and foreign currency leakage if exchanges are closed, YTN reported. Money Today then quoted him saying:
The government has no intention of eliminating or suppressing virtual currencies…I am currently discussing urgent matters with the [cryptocurrency] task force in the government because the virtual transaction facilities [exchanges] regulated by the e-commerce law are the biggest problem.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are not financial entities in Korea; they fall under the e-commerce law. In contrast, Kim noted that, in Japan, they are managed by registration with the country’s financial authority.
Kim’s meeting with the PBOC governor followed the South Korean government’s announcement in early January that it will cooperate with China and Japan to address cryptocurrency speculation. In addition, the vice chairman of the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), Kim Yong-bum, also urged 23 other countries and 12 organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, to collaborate on curbing cryptocurrency trading.
Do you think the PBOC has inspired any changes in South Korea’s crypto policies? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Newsis.
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The post South Korea Discusses Cryptocurrency Policies With China’s Central Bank appeared first on Bitcoin News.
South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchanges have implemented changes to comply with the government’s mandates announced last week. In addition to restricting certain customers from trading cryptocurrencies, the exchanges have stopped issuing new virtual accounts in accordance with the regulators’ real-name requirements.
The South Korean government made several announcements in December regarding cryptocurrency regulation. The first was the “emergency” regulatory measures, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Then a few additional rules followed.
The Korean crypto market is dominated by four exchanges; Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone, and Korbit. While Bithumb has long held the number one spot as the country’s largest crypto exchange by volume, newcomer Upbit started reporting higher 24-hour volumes in December. Upbit is backed by Kakao Corporation which owns the country’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk.
Following the regulators’ announcements, the four exchanges began modifying their terms of service. Among other measures, they are prohibited from offering services to minors and non-Korean residents as well as from issuing new virtual accounts. These accounts were issued by banks for the exchanges to assign to their customers for anonymous KRW deposits and trading.
Minors and Non-Korean Residents
Upbit was the first exchange out of the four to post a notice regarding the discontinuation of its services for minors. Those under 19 years old can no longer use Upbit’s services and existing minor customers had until the end of last month to withdraw money from the platform. Its terms of service have been updated, changing from “under 14 years old to under 19 years old,” Upbit detailed.
A notice was also posted on the Bithumb website, suspending those under 19 years old from subscribing and using its services starting on January 1. The exchange has rephrased the wording in its terms of service from “If you are under 19 years of age, you may be restricted” to “you are restricted.” In addition, virtual accounts will be unavailable for “domestic non-residents.” An official of the exchange previously commented:
The latest measures won’t have much impact on us as we are already very careful with minors and foreign investors.
Coinone issued a similar notice, stating that trading is limited for “underaged-minors and non-Korean-residents,” clarifying that all of its services will no longer be available to them.
No New Virtual Bank Accounts
Bithumb explained on its website that the issuance of new virtual bank accounts has been suspended in accordance with the government’s regulation, which is a “requirement of real name verification for cryptocurrency transactions.”
Currently, Shinhan Bank and Nonghyup Bank provide Bithumb with virtual account services. The issuance of new Shinhan Bank virtual accounts was suspended on Friday and the issuance by Nonghyup Bank the following day.
Upbit also informed its users that “in order to comply with the government’s policy on self-certified accounts, the issuance of virtual accounts for Upbit new subscribers will cease from January 1, 2018.” However, existing members who already have virtual accounts “will be able to make all transactions without change,” the platform noted.
Similarly, Coinone wrote, “Virtual account issuing for cryptocurrency trading will be closed temporarily” beginning on December 29, 2017, in order “to apply Korean government’s policy for the real-name system.”
On the same day, another major exchange, Korbit, suspended the issuance of new virtual accounts. Citing that Shinhan Bank currently provides the exchange with virtual account services, Korbit noted:
If you already have a KRW [virtual] deposit account issued by Shinhan Bank, your KRW deposit or withdrawal requests will not be restricted. However, there may be an additional regulatory impact on KRW deposit or withdrawal requests [from the government] in the future.
The exchange added, “We will continue to work closely with the regulators and banking institutions to prepare a fully-compatible platform that safely processes KRW deposits and withdrawals in accordance with the new regulation.”
Do you think the changes will have a positive effect on the Korean crypto markets? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone, and Korbit.
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The post South Korean Exchanges Revise Policies to Comply with Crypto Regulation appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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