South Korea: Time to Loosen Strict Crypto Regulations

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At the recent Deconomy conference (short for Distributed Economy) in Seoul, South Korea, government leaders suggested that the time has come to loosen the strict regulations that had been imposed.



The move would allow for increased expansion in the already burgeoning cryptocurrency and blockchain space in South Korea.

The conference, which included industry leaders like Vitalik Buterin and Andreas Antonopoulos, was also a platform for the Korean governmental leaders to speak on its stance. Of particular interest were comments made regarding the regulatory climate in the country.



Tides Turning?

Min Byung-doo, the chairman of Korea’s National Policy Committee, told the audience that the need for strict regulation had come to an end. Previously, the government had sought to protect the economy of the nation by ‘vaccinating’ it against the first major run-up of cryptocurrencies. However, as the market has matured, the need for such regulations are less.

This follows closely with South Korea’s otherwise very open technology policy. For example, the country recently announced a sandbox-type environment for fintech companies. Such openness toward fintech should ostensibly flow into the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, and the legal environment should match that vision.

Live and Let Live

The maturing market has been evident now more than ever. Even with the extremely tight regulatory climate in South Korea, the cryptocurrency market has continued to flourish.

Now that the market has weathered what is most likely the worst of the storm, the government is no longer seeking to place such strict controls on it. In fact, according to Choung Byoung-gug, the chairman at the Special Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution of the National Assembly, additional regulations would be detrimental. Such a stranglehold could negatively affect the cryptocurrency markets with little purpose.

Instead, the country is now seeking to foster an environment where blockchain and cryptocurrencies are allowed to flourish. With the market moving northward in recent days, the timing may be perfect.

Others to Follow?

The announcement does point to an overall movement toward regulatory openness in some nations. This, however, seems to be different than the SEC’s movement toward greater enforcement of the Howie Test for ICOs.

However, should South Korea prove to be an incubator for blockchain and cryptocurrency, other nations may follow suit. Regardless, the conditions for growth appear to have been met and exceeded, lending support to what appears to be a returning bull market.

Do you think the Korean regulatory climate will help propel blockchain and cryptocurrency forward or are these industries self-protecting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!  


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With a background in science and writing, Jon's cryptophile days started in 2011 when he first heard about Bitcoin. Since then he's been learning, investing, and writing about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for some of the biggest publications and ICOs in the industry. After a brief stint in India, he and his family live in southern CA.

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