Policymakers in South Korea are looking at tougher regulations for cryptocurrencies, as indicated by translated reports of a meeting on Monday, December 4, 2017. It was decided at this inter-agency gathering that the Ministry of Justice will replace the Financial Services Commission by taking the lead in efforts to surveil the market and curtail criminal behavior.
The ministry said it will work in joint operation with the South Korean government to deal with cryptocurrency-related criminal activity, and will set up a taskforce encompassing the Policy Planning Department, the Criminal Justice Department, the Legal Department, and the Criminal Planning Division. The taskforce will be led by the Chief Justice.
According to the report, another government decision recently classified cryptocurrency as "fundraising with no legal base." The government will also prohibit the operation of exchanges unless they comply with "strict regulations," compelling operators to separately deposit investor capital, explain risks, meet with AML standards, and prohibit doorstep solicitation.
South Korean officials had already announced an across-the-board ban on token offerings in late September 2017. Earlier in the year, the governor of the Bank of Korea responded to criticism from a lawmaker by promising to engage in a more in-depth study of cryptocurrencies.