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South Korea says 'shutdown of cryptocurrency trading on the table'

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Jung Ki-joon, a senior official at the Office for Government Policy Coordination, speaks to the media at the Sejong Government Complex on Monday. / Yonhap
Jung Ki-joon, a senior official at the Office for Government Policy Coordination, speaks to the media at the Sejong Government Complex on Monday. / Yonhap

By Jung Min-ho

The government is considering many options to regulate cryptocurrencies, including a complete shutdown of all cryptocurrency exchanges.

"Virtual currencies are not official currencies," Jung Ki-joon, a senior official at the Office for Government Policy Coordination told reporters at the Sejong Government Complex on Monday.

"Their value could fluctuate because no one will protect it … Individuals should be cautious about making any decisions about mining or trading them because responsibilities will fall on their shoulders."

A complete shutdown of all cryptocurrency exchanges is one option the government may use to regulate them.

"We will collect more opinions from related-ministries to make a decision over the issue," Jung said.

Even if the office continues to allow cryptocurrency exchanges, it will regulate exchanges in one way or another. Jung said the office would keep pushing for real-name transactions and other anti-speculation measures and to deal with illegal acts involving virtual money.

The move comes a few days after Justice Minister Park Sang-ki's remark that the government would work on legislation to shut down cryptocurrencies because trading in the "overheated" virtual currency involved too much money and caused social concerns.


Jung Min-ho mj6c2@koreatimes.co.kr


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