S. Korea to create an agency for cryptocurrency policy review

South Korea’s Financial Services Commission chairman nominee, Koh Seung Beom, recently said that he does not see cryptocurrencies as a financial asset, but despite this, on Thursday, the FSC stated that it will create an independent agency to bolster the supervision of virtual assets and operators in the country.

The commission added that the bureau would also be tasked to spot and identify possible money laundering cases. The announcement about the plans to form a cryptocurrency policy review agency came just a day after Koh Seung Beom shared his belief that “cryptocurrencies are not real.”

According to The Korea Times, the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU), a unit of the FSC that supervises anti-money laundering, will be given the power to manage the newly-formed office. The group has been dubbed as the “crypto asset monitoring bureau,” and it will now begin monitoring any suspicious financial activity related to cryptocurrency assets.

The monitoring is needed for the officials to decide if they can extend the license of cryptocurrency operators or not. In addition, the establishment of the group was made to explore means on how the regulators can improve investor protection rules.

“The FSC’s decision for the creation of an independent bureau inside KFIU with increased personnel is aimed at checking and monitoring cryptocurrency-related financial activity and preventing potential money laundering,” an official from FSC state.

It was revealed that the FSC has been teaming up with other financial institutions to strengthen crypto regulations in S. Korea. The commission also provided a six-month grace period for the country’s cryptocurrency exchange operators to register using real-name trading accounts at the KFIU. If they fail to do this, they will not be allowed to operate in the country.

Pulse News reported that four crypto exchanges in Korea are on the verge of closure as they have yet to apply for state certification for the protection of information assets. Meanwhile, the FSC already disclosed a list of crypto exchanges that have and have not filed for the required Information Security Management System (ISM) certification. If they still haven’t registered by the Sept. 24 deadline, they will be forced to shut down immediately.