South Korea Law Firm Fights New ‘Unconstitutional’ Crypto Trading Regulations

South Korea Law Firm Fights New ‘Unconstitutional’ Crypto Trading Regulations

Seoul-based law firm Anguk Law Offices announced Tuesday that it had filed a constitutional appeal on Dec 30 over the South Korean government’s recent cryptocurrency trading regulations, calling them an “infringement of property rights”, The Korea Times reports.

The appeal argues that the latest government regulations of cryptocurrency trading released last week, which seek to make trading of virtual currencies in South Korea non-anonymous, are “unconstitutional”.

Anguk Law Offices argues that since cryptocurrency is not officially considered a currency or financial instrument in South Korea, there is not an applicable financial law in place to govern the trading of them.

Jeong Hee-chan, a lawyer at the law firm, told reporters that the status of virtual currencies -- whether it’s property, a commodity, or another kind of asset -- must be decided before regulations are put in place:

"We agree that regulations are necessary. But regulation should come after related laws are implemented. The petition is also a request for the government to respect people's property rights and introduce regulations after reaching a social consensus."

Recent regulations

On Dec. 28, the South Korean government announced its plans to ban the use of anonymous virtual accounts for cryptocurrency trading in an effort to “curb virtual currency speculation”, local news agency Yonhap reported.

According to The Korea Times, most crypto exchanges in South Korea currently use virtual accounts linked to their bank accounts, as they make it easier for exchanges to manage clients’ money.  

Starting as early as Jan. 20, clients will have to use only real-name bank accounts and accounts at cryptocurrency exchanges must have matching names in order to be used for deposits and withdrawals, the publication reports.

FOMO-drive “cryptocurrency mania” in South Korea was credited with Ripple’s notable growth in the past week, which propelled the altcoin to become the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

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