Korea to beef up monitoring on crypto market

By Lee Yeon-woo yanu@koreatimes.co.kr

Efforts to enhance clarity in the Korean virtual asset market are emerging, as both the government and the National Assembly have actively announced their plans to intensify crypto monitoring.

On Wednesday, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) announced the launch of two teams exclusively responsible for virtual assets, which will specialize respectively in supervision and investigation.

Before the institutionalization of virtual assets, the FSS had supported related legislation, with its dedicated research team conducting research and monitoring markets.

However, since the passage of the Virtual Asset Act by the National Assembly in July, there has been a growing need to establish an organization capable of overseeing the field.

“In response to the expansion of the virtual asset market and to prepare for the enactment of the Virtual Asset Act in July next year, a specialized organization has been created to ensure market order and safeguard its participants,” an FSS official said.

The supervisory bureau is responsible for the supervision and inspection of virtual asset operators, market monitoring and institutional improvements. The team aims to establish a regulatory framework for virtual assets and promote market stability.

The investigation bureau is to rigorously enforce actions against market disruptions by investigating unfair trade practices. It aims to prevent disorder in the market and protect its participants from harm resulting from unfair trading practices.

In addition, the Ministry of Government Legislation announced Thursday that starting Dec. 14, high-ranking officials will also be required to report their transactions involving virtual assets, similar to the reporting of stock transactions.

The National Assembly is also making efforts to enhance the soundness of the domestic virtual asset market by proactively supplementing existing institutions.

“Massive renewals for virtual asset businesses are expected in the latter half of 2024,” Rep. Yun Chang-hyun from the ruling People Power Party said.

He is focusing on refining the renewal examination process within the Specified Financial Transaction Act. This revision aims to exclude business operators that do not meet critical requirements, such as fulfilling anti-money laundering obligations and ensuring user protection.

“The law would contribute to fostering a healthy ecosystem in the virtual asset market by clearly specifying the grounds for renewal rejection and requiring improvements as a condition for accepting renewals,” he explained.

Efforts to gain public trust are underway in the private sector as well.

Bithumb, one of the main domestic crypto exchanges, is planning to go public on the Kosdaq market by the second half of 2025 at the latest. The company has stated that its upcoming IPO will enhance corporate trust and strengthen transparent operations.






The Korea Times Co.