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South Korean lawyers urge government to establish cryptocurrency laws

Nov 08, 2018 08:40 am UTC

South Korean lawyers urging the government to quickly establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, Reuters reported.

The Korean Bar Association (KBA) is pressing for cryptocurrency laws in the country with the objective of fostering the domestic crypto industry and to protect investors.

Established in 1952, the KBA is the regulatory authority for the legal professions. Its membership is mandatory for all local lawyers. As of November 2017, 23,557 attorneys and 1,353 law firms are registered member of the KBA.

Speaking at a news conference at the Parliament, Bar Association President Kim Hyun said:

“We urge the government to break away from negative perceptions and hesitation, and draw up bills to help develop the blockchain industry and prevent side effects involving cryptocurrencies.”

In January 2018, the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KoFIU) introduced the Virtual Currency Anti- Money Laundering Guidelines. Since then, the KoFIU and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) conducted inspections on banks for monitoring their compliance with the guideline and proposed a revision to addressing some insufficiencies related with the implementation of the guidelines. The revised guideline was approved by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) on June 27 and went into effect on July 10.

In July, the FSC had also revealed its plans to set up a department that will exclusively focus on policymaking initiatives related to the domestic fintech and cryptocurrency industry.

In addition, the FSC banned all ICO-related activities in the country last September. Recent reports suggest that the government is likely to revisit the legal status of ICOs in the country this month.

According to Reuters, the government said that it would decide its position on blockchain regulation only after the completion of a thorough study, which is currently being conducted by both government and financial regulators.

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