Bitcoin plunges as South Korea plans trading ban

Bitcoin plunges as South Korea plans trading ban

Bitcoin plunges as South Korea plans trading ban

The announcement came amid a series of raids by South Korean authorities on the country's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, as the government continues turning the screw on virtual currencies.

The digital currency fell more than 10 per cent from over $15,000 (£11,100) to around $13,300 in the early hours of Thursday morning United Kingdom time, before paring some of its losses.

In a press conference Thursday, Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said the government was drawing up a bill against overheating in the virtual currency market, perhaps even intending to ban cryptocurrency trades in Korea completely. The proposed legislation will need a majority vote of all 297 members of the National Assembly in order to ban trading outright.

South Korean officials announced today that they're preparing a bill that will completely ban domestic cryptocurrency trading.

Global regulators are also paying more attention to initial coin offerings, which allow startups to use the technology behind bitcoin, known as blockchain, to fund projects.

The crackdown in South Korea by authorities included a raid on the country's second largest virtual currency operator, Bithumb. The local exchange Bithumb had Bitcoin priced at $17,169.65 per token while CoinDesk was 31% lower.

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

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He pointed to the high premium on digital currencies in the South Korean market, saying that observers overseas have concluded such trading activities are abnormal.

But the MSF disagreed, saying, "We do not share the same views as the Ministry of Justice on a potential cryptocurrency exchange ban".

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Earlier on Monday, Bitcoin price had fallen after the website CoinMarketCap removed prices from South Korean exchanges as the coins were trading at a premium of about 30% in the country. The South Korean government is seeking more transparency in the burgeoning crypto market that has attracted everyone from housewives to students. Reuters reported soon after that the Justice Ministry had said that a bill was forthcoming.

The theory is that the rumours are an FUD-missile meant to drive the price of BTC and other coins down so that crypto whales can buy them up at a "discount".

Cryptocurrency markets took a big hit late Wednesday night - Bitcoin down 11% and Ether down 9%, for example - due to two factors combining in what we technical types like to call a "kerfuffle monsoon" (nobody calls it this).

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