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Incoming S Korean Financial Regulator Hints at Lenient Crypto Approach

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

The newly appointed head of South Korea’s regulatory Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has intimated he will take a softer line on cryptocurrency regulation.

Source: iStock/Mlenny

The country’s crypto-community has welcomed the appointment of Yoon Suk-heun as the governor of the FSS. President Moon Jae-in confirmed the appointment early last month, and Yoon will begin his new role from May 8.

Analysts say Yoon has been handed a remit to reform, as the government eases back from a hardline stance on cryptocurrencies, which earlier this year resulted in a ban on initial coin offering (ICO) issuance, restrictions placed on anonymous trading and talk of closing the country’s exchange platforms.

However, recent months have seen the government slowly adopt a freer approach to cryptocurrencies – dropping some of the fiery rhetoric made by senior officials, including the country’s prime minister, back in December and January.

Per media outlet Econonews, Yoon told reporters, ahead of his official inauguration, “There are a lot of positive things to say about cryptocurrencies.”

Yoon spoke of the need for “better” regulations, referring to both the wider financial and cryptocurrency industries.

However, the new governor sidestepped a question about his policy toward cryptocurrency exchanges. Yoon said, “We will need to review the situation before we make any firm decisions. We will need to take our time to evaluate all the options and information available.”

Yoon, who has a Ph.D in Business Administration from America’s Northwestern University, has been instrumental in reforming financial law for the Moon administration, and at 70 years of age, will be the oldest FSS governor in the body’s history. He is Moon’s third appointee to the FSS governor’s post in just under a year.