Business

Derek Tonin

South Korean government freaks out over crypto bull run

South Korea hasn’t forgotten the devastation after the crypto market soared to new highs in 2017 and came crashing back down to reality in 2018. That doesn’t mean they’ve done enough to prepare for if history should repeat itself.

CoinDesk Korea reports the South Korean government has held an emergency meeting to discuss the current state of the crypto market and it’s risks for investors. The meeting seems to have been inspired by the cryptocurrency market hitting its highest mark in over a year, with Bitcoin Core (BTC) maxing out at over $8,800.

Noh Hyeong-ouk, minister for the Office for Government Policy Coordination, revealed the emergency meeting to the public on May 28. He revealed the meeting included representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Justice and the Financial Supervisory Commission. Noh said:

“Since virtual currencies are not legal currencies and nobody guarantees their value, the price fluctuates drastically due to illegal acts, speculative demand, and changes in the domestic and foreign regulatory environment. It is necessary to make a careful decision on a series of actions.”

As part of their emergency plan, Noh revealed the government will supervise the situation and respond to risks posed to investors. They’ll also carefully watch for potential cases of fraud, including pyramid scams.

He ended by calling on the government to amend the Specific Financial Information Act to prevent potential money laundering. The big question is; why did they wait this long to take action?

South Korea hasn’t exactly been the safest place for the cryptocurrency industry. We reported in April that cryptojacking cases were on the rise there. Police have also cracked down on pyramid schemes this year, shortly after the government wondered if it’s crypto laws were appropriate.

This may all be a political show, to keep the people of the country on their feet and paying attention to potential scams. It doesn’t, however, build a lot of confidence in the government, considering they lack confidence that they’ve done enough to get their bureaucracy ready for when the market would inevitably recover from its slump.

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