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South Korea May Ease Cryptocurrency Regulations Under New FSS Chief

The new head of the main regulatory body in South Korea will consider relaxing cryptocurrency regulations in an effort to help businesses in the sector grow.

Yoon Suk-heun was approved by President Moon Jae-in to lead the Financial Supervisory Service on Sunday and told reporters that he would consider revising or repealing some regulations put on the cryptocurrency markets.  

Yoon is known to be a reformist when it comes to regulations, so his statement on the market’s regulation is no surprise. He is a visiting professor at Seoul National University and was nominated to lead to Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) by the Financial Service Commission (FSC).

After he was confirmed by the President, Yoon spoke to reporters, and said:

“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.”

Yoon’s nomination as the FSS chiefs comes just months after the cryptocurrency markets were hit with multiple blows from the South Korean government. In September 2017, South Korea imposed a ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) based out of South Korea due to the amount of fraud that was occurring.  In January of 2018, the FSC banned anonymous trading by enforcing KYC requirements on exchanges.  Some news outlets also reported that the government was considering a full ban on cryptocurrency trading in January, which turned out to be a rumor.

In later comments, Yoon did express that he feels “Regulation is good. However, it would be more than just good when it is used to help new businesses grow. Imposing taxes on crypto exchanges and investors needs to be considered, if necessary.”

Upbit, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, made a statement on Yoon’s new position, saying that “the new FSS chief should think about is how the regulators should provide remedies to help crypto trading and blockchain technology get better.”

It appears as though Yoon’s stance on the cryptocurrency markets is far more balanced than his predecessor's, and future regulatory measures should echo his sentiment. The new FSS chief began his tenure on May 8th.