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South Korea’s Financial Services Commission Announces Cryptocurrency Division

In a press release dated July 17th the Financial Services Commission (FSC), South Korea’s financial regulator, announced an organizational initiative to better protect consumers and leverage emerging financial technology in forming the Financial Innovation Bureaus:

“Reorganize the Financial Services Commission to strengthen the financial consumer protection function and effectively respond to financial innovations resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution “

The Korea Times notes that the agency’s efforts are believed to be in line with the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and its recent report delivered to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors which claimed crypto-assets “do no pose material risk to global financial stability.”

The Financial Stability Board report echos a Bank of Korea (BOK) statement which reports that trading as of December 2017 resulted in an outstanding balance of virtual accounts in local banks amounting to $1.79 trillion USD won.

“The amount of crypto-asset investment is not really big, compared with other equity markets, and local financial institutions’ exposure to possible risks of digital assets is insignificant. Against this backdrop, we expect crypto-assets to have a limited impact on the South Korean financial market.”

The Financial Innovation Bureaus has an expected lifespan of two years. Analysts see the South Korean government evolving on cryptocurrencies in recent months, as the “country now considers cryptocurrency exchanges as actual legal entities, instead of just ‘communication vendors’.”