Bitcoin Rises in South Korea Despite Reports of Gov't Intervention

12 January, 2018, 00:29 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Bitcoin Seoul

Prices for some of the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, dropped sharply $100 Billion on Monday after Coinmarketcap.com removes data from some South Korean exchanges, Wall Street Journal said.

The office spoke out after news reports indicated Wednesday that the South Korean Justice Department is planning legislation that would pave the way for exchanges in the country to be shut down to largely halt cryptocurrency trading.

S. Korea is working on a bill that may ban trading of cryptocurrencies.

However, after the Justice Ministry spoke of an impending ban (and, indeed, after the global market took a huge coinciding dip), local reports from South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF, a key member of the crypto task force) said that the MOSF does not agree with the "premature statement of the Ministry of Justice about a potential cryptocurrency trading ban".

A shutdown was "one of the measures that have been prepared by the justice ministry", chief press secretary Yoon Young Chan said in a statement, "but it is not a finalised decision".

Another cryptocurrency that was seen correcting significantly was Bitcoin derivative - Bitcoin Cash.

"We're closely monitoring government moves".

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The website now excludes data from Korea's top three exchanges - Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit - from its calculations of virtual money rates.

On the same day, financial authorities inspected six local banks that offered virtual accounts for corporate customers.

It has also warned most cryptocurrencies were being traded in South Korea at far higher prices than elsewhere in the world, blaming factors including "blind speculation".

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

So, it's not set in stone that trading is definitely going to be banned - and that's because the government is reportedly toying with other ideas to regulate activity, like clamping down on unlicensed exchanges.

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap saw its price drop by 5%.

A Chinese ban on virtual coin transactions in yuan ended up driving many investors underground, exposing them to greater risks, he said.

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