Last year, the government announced that minors and foreigners would be banned from opening virtual currency accounts, saying it would also tax income generated from virtual currency.
Following this, a petition demanding a stop to regulating virtual currency to the South Korean Presidential Office has now reached 200,000 signatures after being filed on December 28 to the Blue House, South Korea's equivalent of the US White House.
The government is required to give an official response when a petition gains over 200,000 participants within a month.
The petition said that because of a few bad apples, regular investors have been labeled participants of an "illegal gambling ring". It added that developed countries are already investing in virtual currency and developing fast, and hoped that South Korea doesn't go backwards due to "unjustified regulations".
Signatories agreed that they were for the government taxing virtual currency income, but were against against the closing down of exchanges.
The Seoul government is moving to impose new regulations against the trading of virtual currency, though involved ministries are yet to agree on the extent.
Last week, the Justice Ministry said it planned to ban the trading of virtual currency in exchanges altogether, but the Economic Ministry rebutted this. The Blue House had to intervene to announce that nothing had yet been finalised.
On Tuesday, Vice Minister of the Economy Kim Dong-yun apologised for the confusion and said the government will look at the "big picture" and announce its plan soon.
On Monday, the country's technology minister said blockchain, the technology that underpins many types of virtual currency, will not be affected by the regulation.
South Korea's technology minister says blockchain will not be affected by the government's recent crackdown on virtual currency trading.
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