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South Korean Legislators Working to Fast-Track Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Regulations

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
South Korean Legislators Working to Fast-Track Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Regulations
The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. Photo: Lig Ynnek / Flickr

Members of South Korea’s political parties will present their draft bills and debate on it during an extraordinary session of the National Assembly, from July 13 to 26.

A report published on Wednesday, July 11, by The Korea Times suggests that South Korean legislators are all set to submit the draft bills to regulate the country’s cryptocurrency, blockchain and ICO markets. The report mentions that the lawmakers will be submitting a draft during an extraordinary session of the National Assembly to be conducted from July 13 to 26.

Members from across the political parties of South Korea will be submitting their respective bills for the legal status of digital currencies and the regulations for the local crypto exchanges. The bills are expected to serve a common purpose to combat the menace of cybercrimes, money laundering and personal data leaks.

The three members who will be submitting their draft bills include Representative Chung Tae-ok of the main opposition Liberty Party Korea (LPK), Representative Park Yong-jin of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea and Representative Choung Byoung-gug of the minor opposition Bareun Mirae Party.

The Korea Times that notes that even though the issues to be addressed are common, the opinions of all the three members to tackle them remain largely divided. In such case, it becomes unclear if the bills will become a law during the upcoming session especially when there are more urgent economic and political issues on the table. However, this discussion can be considered as an attempt to fast-track the regulatory process pertaining to South Korea’s cryptocurrency market.

On July 19th, Rep. Song Hee-kyung of the LPK is scheduled to co-host a debate with the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) regarding the security of the local cryptocurrency exchanges. All eyes will be on this as multiple cases of cryptocurrency hacks being reported in the past few months worldwide. KISA has already begun conducting security inspections of the crypto exchange since the beginning of this month.

Oh Se-jung, the leader of the Bareun Mirae Party’s taskforce on crypto issues, has asked for stricter regulations and cybersecurity rules for exchanges to prevent hacking attempts.

During past few months, continuous efforts have been made in order to create a more healthy environment for investors and traders in the country’s cryptocurrency market. Back in May, the National Assembly of South Korea proposed to lift the ban on ICOs and allow it to function under the regulatory eye within a proper framework. The Special Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution under the National Assembly said:

“We need to form a task force including private experts in order to improve transparency of cryptocurrency trading and establish a healthy trade order. We will also establish a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading, including permission of ICOs, through the National Assembly Standing Committee.”

Just last week, South Korea’s regulatory agency – the Financial Services Commission (FSC) – revised and relaxed its guidelines for the exchange operators in order to cooperate with the G20 directives towards creating “unified regulations” worldwide. “[The agency] made revisions to its rules to apply strengthened policies in order to prevent or detect money laundering and illegal activities because the regulator isn’t opposed to cryptocurrencies,” an FS official said.

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