The government will place top priority on making cryptocurrency transactions transparent while actively fostering blockchain, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies.

Minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination Hong Nam-ki revealed the plan on Wednesday in response to an online petition on the presidential office's Web site expressing opposition to the government’s regulations of virtual currency. 

The petition has drawn roughly 288-thousand people in a month. 

Senior presidential secretaries or heads of related ministries must present the government's official stance on the matter if a petition gains more than 200-thousand supporters in a month.

Hong said that the government is carefully watching market conditions and global trends as it cautiously handles the issue surrounding cryptocurrency. He said improvements have been made thanks to the government’s stern response to illegal operation of virtual currency exchanges. 

Meanwhile, Hong said blockchain is a key technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that can be used in various industries, such as logistics, security and apparel. 

He said the government largely expanded this year’s budget related to the technology and will unveil in the first half of the year basic plans for advancing related industries.