Cryptocurrencies Hit Hard by Reports of South Korea Trading Ban

Cryptocurrencies Hit Hard by Reports of South Korea Trading Ban

Cryptocurrencies Hit Hard by Reports of South Korea Trading Ban

Major cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ripple and ethereum took a hammering Thursday following the news that South Korea could be preparing to ban trading in digital coins.

South Korea's Justice Minister Park Sang-ki told reporters at a press conference at his office in Seoul that the proposed ban on cryptocurrency trading was reached after intense consultations with concerned government agencies, including market regulators and the finance ministry.

Even if a country-wide cryptocurrency ban were finalized, it might take "months or even years" for it to actually be passed into legislation, Reuters claims.

The prospect of a ban on cryptocurrency trading by South Korea, among the largest venues for cryptocurrency trading, was playing on the minds of traders and investors this morning as the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies slid further.

Q: Other countries like the U.S. and Japan are not closing exchanges. The country's prime minister has said that cryptocurrencies might corrupt the nation's youth, while the government warned in December that it would be conducting on-site investigations of exchanges. It accounts for somewhere in the region of 6 percent to 12 percent of bitcoin trading, according to industry website CryptoCompare.

Cryptocurrency markets at home and overseas responded quickly and radically Thursday on signals by South Korea's Ministry of Justice that it would seek to shut down all exchanges for digital assets. The 1,500 percent rise in value of bitcoin has attracted college students, housewives, and others to invest in cryptocurrencies. South Korea's cryptocurrency-related shares were also hammered.

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Under the measure, only real-name bank accounts and matching accounts at cryptocurrency exchanges can be used for deposits and withdrawals, while the issuance of new virtual accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges will be banned. "The government is examining how much to regulate virtual currency trading", said Jonh-ku.

By 5pm Hong Kong time, it was trading at US$13,723.94, down 7.8 per cent.

However, the impact will be felt by South Korean local exchanges, a few of which are being investigated by authorities according to Bloomberg.

Bithumb, the second largest virtual currency operator in South Korea, was also raided by the tax authorities on Wednesday.

Police have been investigating Coinone's margin-trading service since previous year, according to an official who asked not to be named citing policy.

"We were asked by the tax officials to disclose paperwork and things yesterday", an official at the firm told Reuters, requesting anonymity.

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