The Reuters reported on Nov. 8th that the South Korean Bar Association publicly pressed the government to enact a legal framework that recognizes digital assets as a standalone industry and protect investors.

Kim Hyun, the president of the Bar Association made the call during a press conference held at the parliament. The government promised to make its ruling on crypto regulation after consulting with financial regulators.

Rare Public Call

Hyum was quoted saying:

“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.”

The Bar Association rarely lobbies for any technology or business interests.

The government is still polarized on crypto regulation with one side of the camp calling for clear guidelines to regulate the industry. Recently, South Korean lawmakers from the ruling party urged the government to adopt a positive stance on the regulation of the nascent industry.

The government initially banned initial coin offerings in September 2017. Choi Jong-Ku, the chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) pointed out that the blanket ban on initial coin offering still stands.

South Korea is one of the most important markets for the emerging cryptocurrency industry. The country is home to Upbit and Bithumb, two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume.

In October, Choi Jong-Ku, the commissioner of the FSC approved a working partnership between banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, stating that:

“There exists no issue in banks providing virtual bank accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges. If digital asset trading platforms have KYC and AML systems in place, there is no problem in issuing virtual bank accounts to exchanges.”

It remains to be seen how the government responds to the call.

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