South Korea's Crypto Regulation Ignites in 2019

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Sept. 1, 2017:.The government of South Korea, in cooperation with the Financial Services Commission, established a task force to explore the transparency of cryptocurrencies and regulatory frameworks surrounding the asset class.

Dec. 4, 2017:.December 2017 was when controversy, uncertainty, and the involvement of the South Korean government in regulating cryptocurrencies reached a peak.

As a result, the Ministry of Justice revealed that it is forming a cryptocurrency regulation task force with the intent of implementing stricter guidelines for trading.

Feb. 18, 2018:.A seminar was conducted with members from the ruling Democratic Party and the opposing Liberty Korea Party to discuss cryptocurrency regulations.

Nov. 26, 2019:.After almost a full year of silence from the government of South Korea, a new bill that would provide cryptocurrencies a legal foundation in the years to come was pushed forward.

South Korea's National Assembly's national policy committee approved a bill that would allow cryptocurrencies to obtain legitimacy through transparency and stricter oversight.

Dec. 30, 2019:.The local media criticized the controversial move of the National Tax Service when it hit Bithumb crypto exchange with a whopping $70 million bill for trades it facilitated for foreign users before the ban on foreigners trading cryptocurrencies in South Korea was imposed by the government.

Throughout the past six months, it has been evident that the government of South Korea has been generally following the direction on Anti-Money Laundering procedures set forth by the Financial Action Task Force, a financial watchdog under the G-7.With the government's existing focus on money laundering prevention, which has been addressed extensively by the adoption of FATF's guidelines by South Korea, companies and individuals can expect a standardization of taxation policies in 2020.Taxes around crypto and a framework for the National Tax Service to collect taxes with a clear legal basis are likely to be the main narrative of cryptocurrency regulation in South Korea over the next two years.

For most activities regarding cryptocurrencies such as trading, the government has been relatively lenient, even with the ruling Democratic Party's cautious stance toward crypto regulation.

Stability in cryptocurrency trading is unlikely to changeDespite controversial statements in the past regarding a ban on cryptocurrency trading, since 2018, crypto exchanges have been allowed to operate with relative stability in their operations.