New Korean Financial Watchdog Chief Takes Softer Tone on Cryptos

NEWS
Daniel Palmer
May 7, 2018 at 12:00 UTC  |  Updated  May 7, 2018 at 13:24 UTC

The new head of a South Korean financial watchdog has taken a softer tone on cryptocurrencies and hinted that his agency may consider easing rules for exchanges, The Korea Times reports.

Yoon Suk-heun, the incoming governor of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), who is considered a reformist in the country, told reporters at his inauguration, "Regarding cryptocurrencies, there are some positive aspects."

Improving regulations, he said, would produce a more stable financial system with better services and products.

At the event, Yoon declined to go into detail about any regulatory changes that the FSS is mulling for domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, saying the process will take some time to be finalized.

"There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed and reviewed. We can figure them out but gradually," he said.

Yoon will officially commence his role as governor of the regulator on May 8.

The news comes after the country cracked down on domestic cryptocurrency trading at the end of last year, mandating real-name verification of exchange users as of the end of January 2018.

Since then, the FSC has been conducting inspections at exchanges to ensure they are complying with the anti-money laundering rules.

In March, it was also reported that South Korea's ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) – brought in by the country's Financial Services Commission last September – could soon be eased.

According to another Korea Times report from last week, a group of lawmakers hopes to have a bill approved this year that would legalize ICOs "under the government's supervision."

Bitcoin and Korean won image via Shutterstock

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