The new head of the Financial Supervisory Service of South Korea, Yoon Suk-heun, has made comments that the cryptocurrency community may find encouraging. According to the Korea Times, he is open to relaxing the country’s restrictive cryptocurrency regulations.
He told reporters: “Regarding cryptocurrencies, there are some positive aspects. The FSS will collaborate with the FSC when an inspection on policies and financial institutions has different configurations associated with different scopes. FSC inspects policies, while the FSS examines and supervises financial institutions but with the oversight of the FSC.”
Yoon was nominated by the Financial Services Commission, which directs the FSS.
2018 did not begin well for cryptocurrency people in South Korea – many banks had stopped providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges and inspecting those that did, and anonymous transactions were banned. ICOs had already been banned in September.
In January 2018, Choi Jong-ku, chairman of the FSC, said: “Virtual currency is currently unable to function as a means of payment and it is being used for illegal purposes like money laundering, scams and fraudulent investor operations.”
Things may be loosening up a bit now – last week we reported that Hong Eui-rak of the ruling Democratic Party is pushing a bill to re-legalise ICOs, although in a very limited manner.
Yoon, who is apparently known as an “activist and reformist”, began in his new role yesterday. When asked by reporters to be more specific about relaxing regulations, he said: “There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed and reviewed. We can figure them out but gradually.”
Coinone Transfer, a branch of cryptocurrency exchange Coinone, is now using Ripple’s xCurrent, according to a Ripple press release.
Starting from next month, customers will be able to send money to countries across Southeast Asia using a service called ‘Cross’, which will be powered by xCurrent. xCurrent is a service offered by Ripple which “enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking”, according to the official description.
Coinone is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, with daily trading volumes of more than $100 million according to coinmarketcap.com. It recently branched out to Jakarta with ‘Coinone Indonesia‘, and is one of only four exchanges currently allowed to open accounts with local banks following the government’s ban on anonymous transactions.
Remittances from South Korea have steadily grown over the last decade, according to World Bank data cited in the press release, and xCurrent is “ideal for the volume and smaller size of remittance payments”.
Wonhee Shin, CEO of Coinone Transfer, said: “We are proud to be the first digital exchange in Korea to join RippleNet and implement Ripple’s xCurrent solution. [It] will revolutionize the lives of our customers by providing them with a real-time, low-cost global remittance service.”
Emi Yoshikawa, director of joint venture partnerships at Ripple, said: “Non-traditional payments companies like Coinone Transfer, and their parent company, Coinone, are revolutionizing the way money moves for their customers. We look forward to working with Coinone Transfer to implement xCurrent as the technology underpinning their new, state-of-the-art remittance service.”