A national petition against extreme cryptocurrency regulations in South Korea has exceeded 200,000 signatures, the requirement for the government to respond. The petition entitled “Has the government ever dreamed a happy dream for the people?” was filed on December 28. Meanwhile, another related petition calls for the removal of the governor of the country’s Financial Supervisory Service.
Government Will Respond
The South Korean government announced a series of regulatory measures for cryptocurrencies in December. Immediately following the announcement on December 28, a national petition entitled “Has the government ever dreamed a happy dream for the people?” was filed and will run through January 27. According to the rules set by the Blue House, if more than 200,000 people sign a petition within a month, the government will respond within 30 days.
On Tuesday, January 16, the number of signatures exceeded that threshold for the above petition, with 215,140 signatories at the time of writing.
The petition reads:
Our people have been able to make a happy dream that they have never had in Korea because of virtual currency…I might be able to buy a house in Korea where it is hard [for me] to buy my house.
Concerning illegal gambling, the author argues “people are not stupid. In the current era, virtual currency is invested because it is judged to be the 4th revolution and it is not just a random investment…I invest wisely to the extent that I do not overdo my money.”
After acknowledging the risks, the author emphasized:
The world you [the government] see is different from the world our people see. You think you protect the people, but the people think that the government takes away our dreams.
The petition does not object to the real-name system which regulators are trying to implement or taxes that must be imposed. However, “Please do not take away our happiness and dreams that we had for the first time in Korea,” it concludes.
Another Petition and A Constitutional Court Case
On December 28, another national petition was filed. It “calls for the dismissal of Choi Heung-shik, the director of the Financial Supervisory Service, who is offering speculation to the people,” the document states.
This filing was in response to a speech Choi gave on December 28 in which he reportedly said it is a good bet that bitcoin’s bubble will burst. “Bitcoin will lose its bubble later. You can bet,” Hankook-Ilbo and other news outlets quoted him. At the time of writing, 37,911 people have signed this petition but the count is still rising.
Meanwhile, the country’s Constitutional Court has entered into a preliminary hearing on the case against cryptocurrency regulation filed on December 30. Anguk Law Offices appealed “over the government’s regulations on cryptocurrency trading, saying regulating the trade through administrative guidance without any legal grounds is an infringement of property rights,” the Korea Times explained.
The court will examine whether the constitutional appeal is appropriate and whether a full-scale trial is necessary.