South Korean authorities have announced they are considering introducing a tax on capital gains from cryptocurrencies, as markets continue to gather pace worldwide.
The announcement was made following an emergency meeting of lawmakers on Wednesday in response to growing concerns over the levels of enthusiasm from investors in South Korea.
Alongside the tax proposals under consideration, minors are to be prohibited from opening cryptocurrency exchange trading accounts, while exchange operators will be forced to meet the obligations under investor protection rules, as well as price transparency requirements.
The proposals, which have yet to receive parliamentary approval, will not impact on the current ban in place prohibiting financial institutions from investing in cryptocurrency markets.
According to proponents of the new policy approach, the introduction of greater regulation would be welcome in a market that is continuing to reach new all-time highs. Thomas Glucksmann of Hong Kong’s Gatecoin exchange told Reuters that regulation in Korea could have a positive impact on the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
“The regulations in Korea will not have a negative effect…licensing brings certainty, which encourages already regulated entities…to get involved in addition to skeptical retail investors,” Glucksmann said, according to the news outlet.
The proposals come at a time of increasing pressure for regulators to act over cryptocurrencies, with SegWit1x (BTC) and a number of other crypto markets showing staggering returns in recent weeks.
Gains of as much as 30% on the day have been seen in markets in recent days, prompting calls for intervention from financial regulators, central banks and governments globally.
Elsewhere in the region, the governor of the Australian central bank warned that current conditions resembled a “speculative mania,” while New Zealand’s central bank governor described current markets as a “classic case” bubble.
This comes just days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reiterated its warnings over trading in cryptocurrency and coin issues, including ICOs, which may run contrary to U.S. securities laws.
While the warnings speak to the potential risks of cryptocurrency trading, they seem to have had little impact on the day’s trading, or on the sentiment of investors. Beyond BTC, cryptocurrencies in general are enjoying a surge in price, as they continue to become even more mainstream.