Tuesday morning, Jan. 16, aÂ South Korean petitionÂ against the regulation of virtual currency reached the amount of signatures required to compel a response from the government.
On January 16, the petition obtained more than 212,700 signatures. According to the website of the presidential office, the minimum required for a government response is 200,000, thus officials are expected to react to the requests listed in the petition in the next 30 days.
The petition asks the government to renounce proposed trading regulations that would ruin â€śa happy dreamâ€ť that has been enabled by digital currencies.
However, the petition still supports some of South Koreaâ€™s cryptocurrency regulations, such as banning anonymous trading accounts. Notably, South Koreaâ€™s largest cryptocurrency exchange BithumbÂ also supportsÂ â€śthe right set of regulationsâ€ť.
Worried about a â€?cryptocurrency obsessionâ€™ in the country, the South Korean government started considering a range of regulatory measures for crypto.
Some of the proposed regulations includeÂ banningÂ anonymous virtual trading accounts,Â forbiddingÂ underaged investors and foreigners from investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the Korean market, and even banning cryptocurrency tradingÂ outright.
Cryptocurrency investing has become especially popular among South Korean youth since the countryâ€™s economic situation is notably hard for the young population. According toÂ Quartz, the youth unemployment hit an all-time high rate of 12.5% in February 2017, compared to the average overall unemployment rate ofÂ 4.2%.
Overall, the stance of the South Korean government towards cryptocurrency regulation has been contradictory during the last month, made particularly confusing by the Justice Ministerâ€™s informal proposal of aÂ cryptocurrency trading ban, which was then widelyÂ misreportedÂ by mainstream media.