The South Korean prime minister has emphasized that closing down cryptocurrency exchanges is not a serious consideration. His statement clears up any remaining confusion in the market regarding whether the Korean regulators are still considering this option.
Closing Down Exchanges Not Serious Consideration
South Korea’s prime minister, Lee Nak-yeon, responded to questions from opposition parties on Tuesday regarding the government’s policies on cryptocurrencies at the National Assembly meeting, local media report.
“There has been a harsh criticism of the government for the confusion between the ministries around the virtual currency regulation direction,” Dailian reported. During the session, Lee was quoted by the Kyunghyang Shinmun saying:
The closing of [cryptocurrency] exchanges is not a serious consideration now. It is one of the many possibilities.
Besides legal considerations, Lee explained that closing down crypto exchanges “will take a lot of discussion, debate, and time,” adding that “I am thinking about how it will affect the market,” Edaily quoted him.
Criticisms of Ministry of Justice’s Action
During the meeting, representative Chae Yi-bae of the People’s Party told the prime minister that since the minister of justice, Park Sang-ki, announced the closure of cryptocurrency exchanges, the position of each ministry has led to market turmoil, Dailian conveyed.
Parliament member Ha Tae-keung elaborated:
I understand the goodwill of the government regarding virtual currency, but the policy is too amateur…The government, which has to heal the pain of the people, has intensified the suffering.
The remarks by Chae and Ha are in response to a statement made by the justice minister at a press conference on January 11, when he said, “We are preparing a bill to ban virtual currency exchanges…We also aim to close exchanges.”
The news immediately went viral, sinking the prices of cryptocurrencies before other Korean regulators could clarify that the announcement was solely the opinion of the justice minister. Park recently apologized for his action. “I apologize for the confusion,” he proclaimed regarding his statement of “closing virtual currency exchanges,” Maekyung reported.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance, Kim Dong-yeon, has recently clarified in a recent radio interview, as reported by Edaily, that “In the near future, a consistent and comprehensive position of the government will emerge in an appropriate and desirable form.”
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Dailian, and Yonhap.