The Constitutional Court of Korea will hold a hearing next month to determine whether the government violated the constitution in late 2017 when it slapped heavy regulations on the cryptocurrency industry to fight speculation amid the crypto bubble.

Or so reports the Korean-language business daily Seoul Gyeongje.

Representing 347 investors, lawyer Jeong Hui-chan petitioned the court on Dec. 30, 2017, two days after the government announced the regulations.

In particular, Jeong regards requirements regarding real-name cryptocurrency transactions as unconstitutional, arguing that the very act of banning the issuance by banks of virtual accounts by a government measure alone represents a super-constitutional exercise of power.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) might argue that banks banned such accounts voluntarily, but Jeong counters that banks can’t ignore the far-reaching authority of the FSC.

The hearing will likely explore what cryptocurrency is, whether it should be subject to regulation by financial authorities and whether banks voluntarily participated in said regulation.

The Constitutional Court should issue a final decision in the first half of next year.

If the court rules the government’s measures unconstitutional, it could spur the cryptocurrency market and help bring it into the mainstream.

It might even have an impact on similar court petitions regarding other government regulations such as recently announced measures to stabilize the real estate market.

However, a lawyer told the Seoul Gyeongje that we shouldn’t expect the court to rule the regulations unconstitutional, pointing to regulations on cryptocurrency in other countries and that Korea’s regulations enjoyed a degree of social consensus.

And in other news from the Korean blockchain space…

  • The Samsung Connection: Past, Present, and Future of ICON (ICX) and Samsung
    (By David Sail, Minable, Dec. 21)
    Mineable explores the collaboration between ICON and Samsung, including the participation of Samsung Electronics and other members of the Samsung ecosystem in the MyID Alliance. “Samsung Group, ICONLOOPand the ICON Network continue to forge a partnership that will enable the ease of use, security, and efficiency of blockchain-based services in the real-world,” writes David Sail. “Immutable, open, public, and interoperable characteristics are essential for the development of these technologies moving forward. In addition, borderless, neutral, and censorship resistance are critical to enable the long-term viability of blockchain tech moving forward.”
  • Every Major South Korean Conglomerate Is Now Involved in Blockchain
    (By Anton Lucian, Beincrypto, Dec. 19)
    Korean telecom giant KT is rolling out a digital currency for the city of Busan, to be launched on Dec. 30. Writes Anton Lucian at Beincrypto, “With the news of KT Corporation, we can now safely say that every South Korean conglomerate is now involved in blockchain in some way.”
  • KT Corp, Hana Bank to launch blockchain local currency in Busan Korea
    (By Ledger Insights, Dec. 21)
    Ledger Insights takes a deeper dive into KT’s digital currency for Busan. The Dongbaekjeon, as it’s called, can be used at department stores, large markets, supermarkets and some franchises.
  • A look at recruitment of the Bank of Korea’s blockchain experts
    (By Kim Hyoung-joong, Korea IT Times, Dec. 20)
    Prof. Kim Hyoung-joong, head of Korea University’s Cryptocurrency Research Center, calls on the Bank of Korea to research CBDCs. He doesn’t hold back, either In particular, the professor calls CBDCs a potential “cradle of big data,” giving the central bank better data on where the money it issues goes.
  • Sparkplus signs partnership deal with blockchain startup Kasa Korea
    (By Song Seung-hyeon, The Investor, Dec. 17)
    Korean office-sharing space Sparkplus has joined hands with blockchain startup Kasa Korea to create a blockchain-based funding platform that would let individuals without mountains of cash to indirectly or indirectly fund real estate. Additionally, a blockchain-based real estate-backed securities platform developed by KASA has just been included in the FSC’s sandbox for innovative financial services.