Today, in one of the more concrete indications that South Korean regulators aren't planning a China-style stampout of the cryptocurrency market, the country's finance minister assured jittery traders that the country is not planning to ban cryptocurrency trading - a possibility that has been raised several times in recent months, sending bitcoin plunging on every occasion.
According to CoinDesk, Kim Dong-yeon said, "there is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency [market]," in response to a question from a lawmaker about the government's plans to regulate the industry.
Instead of taking the dramatic step of shutting down all local exchanges - like China did - the minister assured his audience that, just as we reported last month, "regulating exchanges is [the government's] immediate task."
Reports that South Korea was considering a cryptocurrency ban hammered the market in December. Officials reportedly believed the market was overheating and required more scrutiny. However, officials quickly backtracked, and South Korea's presidential office clarified on Jan. 11 that a plan to ban trading cryptocurrencies "is one of the measures prepared by the Ministry of Justice, but it's not a measure that has been finalized."