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Crypto comments made by the FCA chair angers South Korean citizens who now demand his resignation

More than 146,000 people have already signed for the voluntary resignation of Financial Services Commissioner Eun Seong-soo.

Seoul, South Korea / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Thu, 29 Apr 2021, 04:57 am UTC

Members of South Korea’s crypto community were not pleased by the comments made by authorities hinting at the possible closure of crypto exchanges that fail to meet the requirements. Angry citizens have now started a petition that sought the removal from office of the head of the Financial Services Commission (FSC).

During a meeting of the National Assembly’s policy committee on April 22, Financial Services Commission (FSC) chairman Eun Sung-soo revealed that none of the crypto exchanges currently operating in the country have applied for a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license, according to Coindesk. This is a requirement under the amended law that will take into effect later this year.

The FSC chair said that closures could result in case exchanges fail to meet the requirement. “There are an estimated 200 cryptocurrency exchanges in the country,” Eun Sung-soo said. “But if the current situation continues then all of them could be shut down.”

The FSC is ready to accept applications for registrations since March but no exchange has submitted any application yet. The government is giving platforms until September 24 to have their business registered as a VASP. Exchanges will only be granted to firms that are able to demonstrate that their AML systems are up to standards.

However, the FSC chair’s comments only fueled the ire of South Korean citizens who have exposure to crypto. People, who are mostly between the ages of 20 and 39, have flooded the presidential website with thousands of petitions calling for Eun Sun-soo’s ouster, according to Bitcoin.com.

Citizens were particularly infuriated over comments made by the FSC chair over the weekend. “Our view of cryptocurrency is shared with the position of the governor of the Bank of Korea, who sees it as a 'virtual asset with no intrinsic value that is highly speculative,’” he said, according to UPI.com.

At the time of writing, 146,048 people have already signed for the voluntary resignation of Financial Services Commissioner Eun Seong-soo on the government website.

Crypto trading has become very popular among South Korean workers in their 20’s and 30’s. They view investing in digital currencies as an alternative way to create wealth that can be used to fund their life-long dreams, such as owning their own homes.

“I face the reality of being unable to afford my own home no matter how hard I save up my salary,” one office worker in his 30’s said. “Despite severe volatility, there is no other way than cryptocurrency investments for me to accumulate wealth.”

Some have even left their jobs to concentrate on crypto trading. “I enjoyed working, but I realized it made more financial sense to focus on my investments considering the returns I can gain for the amount of time I put in,” a worker in his 20’s named Han Jung-soo explained he decided to quit after earning 3 billion won (around $2.6.million) from trading activities.

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