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The Head of the South Korean Central Bank: Bitcoin is a commodity, not a currency

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Bitcoin will be recognized and regulated as a commodity rather than a currency, said the head of Korea's central bank to lawmakers during a parliamentary audit.

Speaking during the audit of the National Bank of Korea (BOK), the country's central bank, the governor of the BOK Lee Joo-yeol would have been questioned "is it possible to see from virtual money as a currency? " According to Yonhap News, Lee responded to the state "it is difficult to look at [virtual currencies] as money by the example [definition] of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS)." is an international financial organization based in Switzerland and owned by central banks in 60 countries around the world, considered a "bank of central banks."

Lee also expressed the current official position of the central bank on the regulation of cryptocurrencies, when bills are being drafted to regulate – indeed legalize – crypto-currencies like bitcoin and credit cards. 39, Ethereum


The representative of the central bank said:

Regulation (virtual currencies) is appropriate because it is considered a commodity. He [cannot be] regulated at the level of a currency.

Still, the central bank is not trying to enforce the regulations right now, revealed Lee. "This is not a situation for the Bank of Korea to act at the present time."

In November 2016, South Korea set up a Digital Money Task Force – a group consisting of the country's central bank, financial authorities and securities regulators and monetary authorities – to focus on regulatory parameters. and licensing. the digital currency industry. Despite monthly meetings for this purpose, the working group has not made much progress in failing to reach a consensus for a unified call for regulation. As CCN reported earlier in June, participants were not able to hear on the question of whether virtual currencies should be included in systems at this time and how the systems will work. 39 they are included. "

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The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), the country's financial regulator, made the notable decision to ban the initial offers of coins (ICO) following a meeting of the working group , raising fears of a crackdown on the local cryptocurrency market. China. Undeterred, South Korea remains one of the largest bitcoin markets in the world.

The central bank was also criticized for its "bad" research on virtual currencies during the audit. Lee said the bank would do more to look for virtual currencies.

The head of the central bank said:

We also refer to a lot of research on virtual currency in Sweden and in other countries. "The Bank of Korea will also put more emphasis on virtual currency research … The possibility that the central bank's digital money is issued in the near future is likely to become a specialized means of payment for banks. interbank transactions (domestic transactions) or central bank transactions (domestic transactions).

Bank of Korea Shutterstock.