South Korea Plans Action Amid Concerns on Crypto Price Surge

The trading activity in the country dramatically surged in recent days.

The soaring price of Bitcoin has prompted the South Korean authorities to conduct a pan-governmental meeting to discuss the crypto market conditions.

As reported by the local broadcaster KBS World Radio, the meeting was held on Tuesday and led by Noh Hyeong-ouk, the Minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination. Participants included officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Justice Ministry, and the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC).

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With the recent rally, the value of Bitcoin in South Korea went above 10 million won (around $8,400), similar to its valuation a year ago.

“Since virtual currencies are not legal currencies and nobody guarantees their value, the price fluctuates drastically due to illegal acts, speculative demand, and changes in the domestic and foreign regulatory environment,” Noh said. “It is necessary to make a careful decision on a series of actions.”

The officials from various governmental and institutional bodies decided to monitor the volatile market and also considered to take actions to minimize any ramifications to the investors caused by the sudden surge in the market.

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In addition, the panel also pledged to take action against crypto market frauds by involving law enforcement and regulators.

“In particular, illegal activities such as fraud and multi-stage illegal activities carried out on the rise of the market price will be strictly controlled through the surveillance and financial authorities,” the government representative added.

Surging crypto activity

Meanwhile, South Korean citizens are pouring into the crypto market. As seen on BTC data service platform CoinDance, the weekly Bitcoin trading volume on peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins hit an all-time high, reaching around 219 million won (near about $185,000).

South Korea is counted among the largest crypto markets on the globe. Though it lags behind a few countries in terms of total volume, it leads in the per capita adaptation.

The rise in the crypto economy alarmed the authorities in the country earlier as well when a ban on fund-raising via initial coin offerings (ICOs) was imposed. The government also tried to put a ban on digital currencies but failed due to resistance from society.

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