The selected newsarticle is “Old hands in South Korea Bitcoin market unfazed by threats of ban”from Reuters which was published on January 18, 2018. This article reported aboutthe a potential cryptocurrency trading ban in South Korea which is a threat toall cryptocurrency traders. A ban could discourage new market entries (Kim& Zaharia, 2018). The ethical dilemma is described in the form of a question as: Arethe cryptocurrency trading ban in South Korea justified? As demonstrated by a survey,it revealed that three out of ten salaried workers in South Korea have tradedand invested in cryptocurrencies (Horwitz, 2018).
On the presidential office’swebsite, an online petition, there were more than 210,000 requests drawn by peopleasking the government not to ban trading in digital currencies (Griffin, 2018).As an ethical dilemma, the people’s right to trade cryptocurrencies possessesmore challenges as government regulations takes place. The ethical dilemma isexplained by different questions such as; does the government restrictionviolate the right of earning income? Does the regulation on cryptocurrencies banimpose negative economic prospects among people? Do the regulations raiseconcerns over South Korean money flowing to foreign entities? These questionsare summarized into the argument as stipulated below: Should the governmentpass a Bitcoin trading ban in South Korea? Research andBackgroundSince 2008, Bitcoin adoption has beenaffected by a diverse range of elements which have made it one of the mostvolatile currencies in the world. In addition, more than 100,000 Bitcoin transactionsoccur daily and the volume continues to grow due to the permissionlessinnovation provided by Bitcoin’s technology so called “the blockchain” (Jessop,2015). Bitcoin can operate without traditional financial institutions’ involvementand can provide an alternative of direct digital to physical commodities and currencies.
Governments around the globe see Bitcoin and other digital currencies asa destabilizing threat, and some scholars have argued that it shouldbe seen as a speculative investment (Ward, 2015). However, in March 2013, TheUS Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) issued the form of a guidancereport for exchanging, individuals administering, or using virtual currencywhich is some of the world’s first Bitcoin regulation (Jessop, 2015). The CRSreport noted that the responsibility to supervise digital currency will be onCongress because of the given powers articulated in the U.
S. Constitution,especially the authority to regulate the value and coin money thereof. Atpresent, the Senate Finance Committee can only ask the GovernmentAccountability Office (GAO) to review compliance risks and tax requirements,and Congressional actions are still in the exploratory phase (Ward, 2015).In South Korea, digital-currency tradinghas become extremely popular and it is currently the world’s third-largestcryptocurrency trading market. The government is preparing a bill that wouldban cryptocurrency trading on domestic exchanges and it is citing “greatconcerns” about the technology, the nation’s justice minister revealed (Orcutt,2018). On January 11 this year, Coinone and Bithumb’s offices were raided bypolice, two of the South Korean’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges are onsuspicions of tax evasion.
Park Sang-Ki, Justice Minister, said that thegovernment was preparing a legislation which would ban trading on domesticcryptoasset exchanges in the same day (Horwitz, 2018). The crackdown placed concerns on investors andaffected the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It will require amajority vote of the National Assembly once the bill is written, that means itmay take months or years to pass (Orcutt, 2018). According to the websiteCoinhills.com, South Korea shares about 15% of global Bitcoin trading market,the way regulators approach this issue will likely have internationaleffects.
The local price of Bitcoin in South Korea bounced back on January12, 2018 to 19.3 million won ($17,481.20) from 17.
5 million won ($16,445.82)according to Bithumb which is the nation’s second-largest cryptocurrencyexchange. Moreover, On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, Bitcoin price was at$13,709 after touching $12,800 on the prior day (Kim & Yang, 2018). PresidentMoon Jae-in is in a tough spot after the online uprising against thegovernment’s plans, and a ban is just one proposal under consideration (Kim& Yang, 2018).On the other hand, country like Singaporeand Hong Kong is maintaining light regulations, while Japan has encouraged investorsaround digital assets by pioneering a set of rules for the industry and createda vast ecosystem of companies. Germany also mentioned that nationalrestrictions might be useless on cryptocurrencies (Kim & Zaharia, 2018).
Empathy Side One Argument – DisagreePerson 1: Lee Min-Kyung, a25-year old student in a Seoul-based graduate school said that she earned about18 million won ($16,973.93), after her initial investment in Bitcoin (Kim & Yang, 2018). This argumentis based on the fact that government is showing random responses just because officialshave no idea what the market is. Person2: One of South Korean petitioners, Kung Seo-Yang who disagrees with theBitcoin ban stated “the citizens were able to have a happy dream that we hadnever had in South Korea thanks to crypto currency,” the government is notprotecting the public but citizens think that the government is stealing theirdream (Griffin, 2018). With Bitcoin, young and old citizens can use the cryptocurrencyto build their wealth.Person3: Park Tae-Bin, a 30-year-old nurse in Seoul, said that she had alreadyswitched to Hong Kong-based exchange Binance before the government placed thewarning to the market because the restriction will not allow people to tradeand cash out, which violate the right of earning income (Kim & Zaharia,2018).