South Korea Banning Cryptocurrency Trading

Bitcoin Cash

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.

In addition to announcing that cryptocurrency trading could soon be banned, the country's police and tax authorities raided several of the nation's largest exchanges on charges of tax evasion.

The South Korean government will not impose a ban on cryptocurrency trading after all, contrary to the claims of Park Sang-ki, the head of the Justice Ministry.

For the ban to officially pass, a majority vote consisting of 297 National Assembly members would be required. There are now about 20 virtual currency exchanges in the country, with the monthly turnover of the top bourse at 56 trillion won (US$52.2 billion) as of December.

The country's justice minister said South Korea is planning a ban, but the presidential office said later that a ban is under review.

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The local price of bitcoin plunged as much as 21 percent in midday trade to 18.3 million won ($17,064.53) after the minister's comments.

This clampdown could possibly be the reason why Bitcoin dropped 10 percent to $12,986.41 at 12:36 pm Hong Kong time, extending its decline from last month's high to more than 30 percent, according to exchanges.

The exponential surge in the value of bitcoin, the world's most prominent cryptocurrency has made a considerable impact on the world of trading.

The South Korean government's push for onerous regulation comes as demand in South Korea is said to draw in college students to housewives raising worries about gambling addiction and to curb the speculative activity.

Higher interest and higher prices attract more money also into research and making new real-world applications with this technology.

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Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, "cryptocurrency" - a decentralised tradable digital asset. South Korea's cryptocurrency-related shares were also hammered.

The statement came after hundreds of apparent investors in virtual currency rushed to the website of Cheong Wa Dae, posting more than 1,000 petitions against a possible shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges. At the time of press, Bitcoin was trading for around $13,350, down from the valuation of roughly $15,000 preceding the revelation of the proposed bans.

We were asked by the tax officials to disclose paperwork and things yesterday.

"Virtual currency is not based on an exchange of something with a certain value", he said.

The nation's tax office and police declined to confirm whether they raided the local exchanges.

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