Are blockchain and cryptocurrency separable? This tricky question has long been ongoing. A Seoul professor Thursday suggested that South Korea should adopt a two-tier policy of fostering blockchain and regulating cryptocurrency.

In a seminar at the National Assembly, professor Han Ho-hyun of the Kyunghee University, said that major industrialized countries have separate policies on blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Lawyer Ahn Chan-sik said South Korea could have two independent laws, one for blockchain and the other for the cryptocurrency. In regulating the Internet business, Korea adopted two laws—one for e-signature law and the other for e-commerce law.
Ahn said the country should foster blockchain technology. However, he said, “We must protect investors through a tough crackdown on fraud, speculation, hacking, money laundering and crime funding linked with the cryptocurrency.” As you know well, the cryptocurrency has created many social ills, and we must deal with these troubles,” he added.

He said the Ministry of Science and ICT takes the lead in fostering the blockchain industry while the Financial Supervisory Commission is to regulate the cryptocurrency. The two-track formula applies to the Internet. The Financial Supervisory Commission regulates Internet banking while the Ministry of Science and ICT handles Internet industry.

He advised South Korea to adopt the Malta model of having two independent laws for blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Hong Jun-young, chair of the Federation of Korea Fintech, K-FiNNet, praised the Kim Dae-jung administration for investing heavily in establishing the Internet infrastructure. “This investment has made Korea an Internet powerhouse,” he said. “However, the EU has been slow in the Internet investment. Amazon and Google play a dominant role in the EU Internet business.”

Lawmaker Roh Woong-rae of the ruling Democratic Party, hosted the seminar. Roh is currently leading the Science, ICT, Broadcasting and Communications Committee of the National Assembly.