Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Choi Jong-ku – a key supporter of Korea’s ICO ban – said Thursday that he has offered to resign ahead of an upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.
Choi still has one year left on his term, so his offer to resign comes as a bit of a surprise.
At a briefing at the Government Complex in Seoul, he told reporters, “The term of office for a Financial Services Commission chairman is three years, but I have tendered my resignation to give (President Moon) a wider option in the reshuffle under the current situation, where Cheong Wa Dae is considering a Cabinet reshuffle.”
There’s been talk of Choi running for a parliamentary seat in the next general election. He says he doesn’t want to, for what that’s worth.
You’ll recall that during parliamentary debate last year on the future of ICOs, Choi told lawmakers he backed the government’s ICO ban, warning that they were too risky. In October of last year, he encouraged people to reference comments by noted cryptocurrency critic Nouriel Roubini, who told the U.S. Congress that “crypto is the mother or father of all scams and bubbles.”
The Korean-language blockchain news site TokenPost marked his resignation announcement by composing a list of his past comments on ICOs and cryptocurrency, few of them positive.
The TokenPost notes, though, that as of late, he’d adopted an active approach to creating a regulatory regime for cryptocurrency in line with international trends.
Attention now turns to how Choi’s resignation, if accepted, will affect Korea’s cryptocurrency and fintech industries. The Korean-language cryptocurrency news site TheNodist worries that an empty chair at the head of the FSC could depress the cryptocurrency market.
Choi didn’t say exactly when he’d leave, or when his replacement would be chosen, but the government’s cabinet reshuffle should take place at the end of July or the beginning of August.
The Nodist also worries that uncertainty regarding his successor’s views on cryptocurrency and fintech could prolong sluggish market conditions.
This publication, on the other hand, wonders whether Choi’s departure, combined with changes in the international environment in the wake of the latest FATF meeting, could accelerate efforts to build a true regulatory regime for cryptocurrency in Korea, something that could bring some welcome clarity to the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces.