South Korea’s Ministry of Justice and its head Park Sang-ki announced his decision to ban cryptocurrency trading in South Korea. This caused a massive sell-off in the crypto with overall market cap falling by $100 billion. South Korea is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency traders.
The Blue House, office of the president of South Korea, was deluged with more than one hundred thousand signatures on petitions opposing this decision. The Minister of Strategy and Finance stated that he did not support the ban. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance was made aware of the crypto trading ban through media reports.
The majority of petition signers felt that the Minister of Justice has manipulated the market through a premature, and unannounced policy shift. Calls were made for the resignation of the minister. One petition read, “Today, Justice Minister Park independently released a statement on a cryptocurrency trading ban policy that was not agreed upon by the government and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. Many South Korean investors suffered losses as a result. Given that minister Park had released a premature statement that was not the official stance of the government, and caused billions of dollars in losses, he will need to step down by taking responsibility of the situation.” While the minister will not likely be fired, he will likely have to make a formal apology to the Korean people.