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S Korean Crypto Stance Under Pressure, Ripple Invests in University

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

A group of blockchain advocates has made a fresh bid to change the South Korean government’s stance on cryptocurrencies – and has held talks with one of the country’s top financial regulators.

Source: iStock/narvikk

Fn Today reports that Oh Gap-soo, the president of the Korea Blockchain Association, met with Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KoFIU) officials on October 29 to present a report prepared by cryptocurrency experts, anti-money laundering specialists, security professionals and lawyers, as well as business and industry representatives.

The KoFIU works within the Financial Services Commission (FSC), one of South Korea’s two top financial regulators.

The report’s authors have proposed making an amendment to the Act on Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Transaction Information, which came into action in July this year.

The act in question requires cryptocurrency trading companies to make exhaustive reports to regulators about anti-money laundering (AML) measures.

However, the association and its supporters hope the regulator will agree to build on the existing legislation, and construct what would amount to a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in South Korea.

Although some – albeit restrictive – legislation does make mention of cryptocurrencies, much of the crypto industry is currently unregulated, leading to confusion for many stakeholders. The government has attempted to cut cryptocurrencies out of its pro-blockchain policy – a move that many critics say has led to great confusion.

Experts would appear to believe that regulators would be more willing to listen to blockchain advocates’ cause if their concerns about AML matters are met.

The media outlet quotes Oh as stating,

“We will continue to work closely with regulators to address concerns about money laundering through [cryptocurrency] trading.”

Meanwhile, Ripple (XRP) has made a “multi-million dollar” investment in one of South Korea’s top university blockchain research units, at the elite Korea University. The move is part of Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative. Per News1, the exact size of the investment has not been disclosed.

Korea University is one of the country’s traditional top three universities, and its blockchain unit is led by Lee Dong-hoon, considered by many in the nation to be one of South Korea’s leading blockchain academics.