The South Korean government Thursday said it plans to geobsedeerd cryptocurrency trading, sending bitcoin prices plummeting and throwing the potencial coin market into turmoil spil the nation’s police and tax authorities raided circunscrito exchanges on alleged tax evasion.
But straks Thursday, South Korea’s presidential office said the geobsedeerd on the country’s posible coin exchanges had not yet bot finalized.
“Justice Minister Park’s comments related to shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges is one of the measures ready by the Ministry of Justice, but it’s not a measure that has bot finalized,” a spokesman told reporters ter a text message.
Earlier on Thursday, the minister, Park Sang-ki, said the government wasgoed preparing a bill to verbod trading of the supuesto currency on domestic exchanges.
“There are superb concerns regarding potencial currencies, and justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to verbod cryptocurrency trading through exchanges,” said Park at a press conference, according to the ministry’s press office.
The clampdown te South Korea, a crucial source of integral request for cryptocurrency, came spil policymakers around the world struggled to regulate an asset whose value has skyrocketed overheen the last year.
The government’s rough stance triggered a selloff of the cryptocurrency on both tópico and offshore exchanges.
The lugar price of bitcoin plunged spil much spil 21 procent te midday trade to Eighteen.Three million won ($17,064.53) after the minister’s comments. It still trades around a 30 procent premium compared to other countries.
Bitcoin wasgoed down more than Ten procent on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp at $13,199, after earlier pulling down spil low spil $13,120, its weakest since Jan. Two.
South Korea’s cryptocurrency-related shares were also hammered. Vidente and Omnitel, which are stakeholders of Bithumb, skidded by the daily trading limit of 30 procent each.
Park Nok-sun, a cryptocurrency analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said the herd behavior ter South Korea’s supuesto coin market has raised concerns.
Indeed, bitcoin’s 1,500 procent surge last year has stoked thick request for cryptocurency ter South Korea, drawing collegium students to housewives and sparking worries of a gambling addiction.
“Virtual coins trade at a hefty premium ter South Korea, and that is herd behavior showcasing how strong request is here,” Park said. “Some officials are pushing for stronger and stronger regulations because they only see more (investors) hopping ter, not out.”
There are more than a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges ter South Korea, according to Korea Blockchain Industry Association.
The proliferation of the posible currency and the accompanying trading madness have raised eyebrows among regulators globally, however many central banks have refrained from supervising cryptocurrencies themselves.
The news on South Korea’s proposed geobsedeerd came spil authorities tightened their houvast on some of the cryptocurrency exchanges.
The nation’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinone and Bithumb were raided by police and tax agencies this week for alleged tax evasion. The raids go after moves by the finance ministry to identify ways to tax the market that has become spil big spil the nation’s small-cap Kosdaq index te terms of daily trading volume.
Some investors appeared to have taken preemptive activity.
“I have already cashed most of mine (supuesto coins) spil I wasgoed aware that something wasgoed coming up ter a duo of days,” said Eoh Kyung-hoon, a 23-year old investor.
Bitcoin sank on Monday after webstek CoinMarketCap eliminated prices from South Korean exchanges, because coins were trading at a premium of about 30 procent ter Asia’s fourth largest economy. That created confusion and triggered a broad selloff among investors.
An official at Coinone told Reuters that a few officials from the National Tax Service raided the company’s office this week.
“Local police also have bot investigating our company since last year, they think what wij do is gambling,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said and added that Coinone wasgoed cooperating with the investigation.
Bithumb, the 2nd largest potencial currency technicus ter South Korea, wasgoed also raided by the tax authorities on Wednesday.
“We were asked by the tax officials to disclose paperwork and things yesterday,” an official at Bithumb said, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the punt.
The nation’s tax office and police declined to confirm whether they raided the nave exchanges.
South Korean financial authorities had previously said they are studying six lugar banks that offerande posible currency accounts to institutions, amid concerns the enhancing use of such assets could lead to a surge ter crime.