South Korea Won’t Ban Trading Of Cryptocurrencies, says Finance Minister

South Korea finance minister said country would not shut down cryptocurrency trading amid investors fear of ban.

The finance minister of South Korea Kim Dong-Yeon has said that the government would drop its plans to ban trading of cryptocurrencies.

In January, South Korea said that it plans to eliminate crypto-exchanges, as they caused confusion on the market.

The news that South Korean government has no plans to ban trading of cryptocurrencies was welcomed by investors as they previously feared that domestic officials might take tough actions in blocking cryptocurrency platforms, as China did.

In 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese government would stop at nothing in its efforts to suspend Bitcoin exchanges and is planning to ban over-the-counter or peer-to-peer crypto trading as well.

"There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency [market]," South Korea’s finance minister said, adding that the government plans to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges instead.

"Customs service has been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government's task force," South Korean Customs said.

South Korean customs halted the trading of approximately $600 million at an illegal crypto-exchange. “Illegal currency trading of 472.3 billion won formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes,” Customs said in a statement. However, the authority did not provide any details on what actions would or have been taken against those who breached the law.

In the Asian country, licensed brokers and banks with licenses are allowed to offer foreign exchange services. South Korean companies and individuals who transfer more than $3,000 in another country are obliged to submit tax documents to the respective authorities outlining the reason for the movement, with the same legislation being in place for oversea transfers of over $50,000 annually.

As of January 30, South Korea allowed only real-name accounts to be used for trading of cryptocurrencies, a regulation put in place to stop crypto-coins from being used as a tool for financial crimes.