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South Korea Proposes Ban on Crypto Purchases with Credit Cards

South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) has put forth a proposal to amend its Enforcement Decree of the Credit-Specialized Financial Business Act, with the intention of prohibiting cryptocurrency purchases using credit cards.

The suggested amendment is designed to limit the use of credit cards for acquiring cryptocurrencies on foreign exchanges. The FSC cites concerns about potential illegal outflows of domestic funds, the risk of money laundering, and the encouragement of speculative behavior in cryptocurrency trading as driving forces behind this proposed regulatory change.

Korea FSC Highlights Risks in Overseas Crypto Trading

In the Content section, the FSC addressed concerns stating, “Concerns have been raised about illegal outflow of domestic funds overseas due to card payments on overseas virtual asset exchanges, money laundering, speculation, and encouragement of speculative activities.”

Additionally, the FSC expressed the expectation that “a basis for cooperation with international brands will be established, and prevention of foreign currency outflow and money laundering will be strengthened.”

The proposal includes a public feedback period, open until Feb. 13, during which individuals and organizations can provide input and comments. Following this period, the amendment is slated for review and a vote, with the aim of implementing the new rules in the first half of 2024.

South Korean Officials’ Crypto Transactions Exposed by Anti-Corruption Probe

A recent investigation by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission in South Korea has revealed significant cryptocurrency trading activities among the country’s lawmakers. Over the past three years, these lawmakers collectively traded virtual assets worth approximately 125.6 billion won ($97.6 million). The investigation scrutinized transaction records of all 298 sitting lawmakers from May 30, 2020, to May 31, 2023, covering a 90-day period.

The commission’s report identified 18 lawmakers who owned virtual assets, with 11 actively participating in trading. The buying and selling transactions of these lawmakers amounted to 62.5 billion won ($48.4 million) and 63.1 billion won ($48.8 million), respectively.

Bitcoin emerged as the most popular cryptocurrency among the traded assets. The report also unveiled a diverse portfolio of virtual assets, encompassing 107 different types. Notably, one lawmaker was found to have conducted 49 crypto transactions without reporting them, citing a closed exchange account.

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Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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