More than 100,000 South Koreans want the government to reverse a proposal to restrict cryptocurrency trading in the country. And more than 30,000 want the Finance minister fired for market manipulation.
The government is planning to regulate cryptocurrencies, but its moves are seen by many. Thus, trying to calm frantic demand for cryptocurrencies in South Korea, which accounts for 20 percent of global trade.
This comes amidst fears and confusion over announcements regarding efforts by lawmakers to limit cryptocurrency activity in the recent months. For instance, the Ministry of Justice has previously said that the country was considering the banning of cryptocurrencies in the nation.
People see this false statement as market manipulation, negligence, and corruption. For instance, it caused a panic that many people moved on to trade based on the wrong information. It is not clear why the minister made the announcement.
The statement denied by other governmental sources who say the report was not widely consulting among other sources in the government.
Local news outlet JBTC quotes National Security Agency chief Yoon Young-Chan as saying,
“The Ministry of Justice policy is not a definite issue, and it will determine through coordination among ministries”.
They clarified that they were not banning but hoped to prevent the use of anonymous trading accounts. And also encourage a little more transparency from the exchanges.
Tax inspectors also visited some cryptocurrency exchanges in the last week revealing concerns by the government about the issues above. One is Coinone who is also under investigation by the government.
“A few officials from the National Tax Service raided our office this week. Local police also have been investigating our company since last year, and they think what we do is gambling.”
Bithumb was also raiding last week, and staff asked them to disclose paperwork and other things. Moreover, banks that offer crypto accounts have also been targeting by government officials citing fears of rising crime in the sector.
Meanwhile, CoinMarketCap moved to remove South Korean exchange data from its price and volume listings on January 8 citing “extreme divergence in prices from the rest of the world and limited arbitrage opportunity.” They said they are working on better tools to provide users with averages that are most relevant to them.
Prices in South Korean markets are mainly higher than other markets. The move to remove data from CoinMarketCap listings caused panic and drop in prices.