On January 23, the government announced the Virtual Currency Regulation Guideline, gist of which is the instruction of a real name system after mentioning the abolition of virtual currency exchanges on January 11.
However, employees of stores in Yongsan Electronics Market and Kukje Electronics Center in Seoul described the red-hot cryptocurrency mining market, saying "If the Korean government regulates domestic exchanges, those who dig cryptocurrencies can sell them overseas which are safer than Korean ones in terms of security."
Online shopping mall Auction stated that sales of graphics processing units (GPUs), an essential part of virtual currency mining equipment, skyrocketed 145% over the last three months (from October 1 of 2017 to January 21 of this year). Graphic card sales over the same period shot up 61% at G Market during the same period.
"It is difficult to assemble mining PCs right after receiving orders due to a scarcity of GPUs," said employees of offline stores, too. One store employee said that his store stocked 17 sets of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPUs (One set consists of six GPUs) most favored for mining equipment two days ago, but ten sets flew off the shelves. “That made me feel that the popularity of GPUs for mining PCs had not cooled off yet,” he said.
Most people who sell mining PCs said that the government's virtual currency regulation would not work. Demand was on the uptick as virtual money became an issue, they added. Some of them also said that the government would be able to regulate virtual currency exchanges but fail to prevent cryptocurrencies from being dug out. "The government cannot prohibit virtual currency mining unless Korea is a dictatorial state," another salesman at a store in Kukje Electronic Center, "How can the government regulate virtual currency mining at a time when GPU manufacturers are launching mining GPUs?" It will not go against law if virtual currency miners simply dig out cryptocurrencies with electric power for households, he added.