KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Photos<,br />,
Justice Minister Park Sang-Ki said Seoul wasgoed preparing a bill to shut down the country’s supuesto coin exchanges, sending bitcoin and other potencial unit prices into a tailspin.
“The ministry is preparing legislation that basically bans any transactions based on a potencial currency through the trading floor,” he told journalists.
Authorities had “grave concerns” overheen the craze and were “aiming to close imaginario currency exchanges” ter the country, he said.
“It has embarked to resemble gambling and speculation,” Park added, citing the fact that bitcoin prices are higher te South Korea than globally – the so-called “kimchi premium”.
The hyper-wired South has emerged spil a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading, accounting for some 20 procent of total bitcoin transactions – about Ten times the country’s share of the world economy.
A series of measures have failed to curb overheated posible currency speculation ter the country and Park said it would be “devastating if the bubble bursts”.
His remarks sent bitcoin prices plunging Legitimate procent on South Korean exchange Bithumb, while ethereum slumped 23 procent.
Investors flooded the presidential Blue House webstek with hundreds of online petitions against the shutdown, which wasgoed swiftly reversed.
A shutdown wasgoed “one of the measures that have bot ready by the justice ministry”, chief press secretary Yoon Young-Chan said ter a statement, “but it is not a finalised decision”.
Cryptocurrencies rapidly reversed course, with bitcoin climbing back to trade just 6.Five procent down, and ethereum off 12 procent.
A representative of Bithumb, one of around 20 patente currency exchanges ter South Korea, said the company wasgoed watching developments closely.
“We’re closely monitoring government moves. Wij have nothing further to say at this moment”, she told AFP.
Bithumb wasgoed raided by tax authorities on Wednesday who explored the company’s documents.
On the same day financial authorities tested six almacén banks that suggested evidente accounts for corporate customers.
Last month Seoul banned its financial firms from dealing ter posible currencies.
Two weeks straks, it announced a geobsedeerd on opening anonymous cryptocurrency accounts and a crackdown on money laundering activities using them.
It has also warned most cryptocurrencies were being traded ter South Korea at far higher prices than elsewhere ter the world, blaming factors including “blind speculation”.
An official at the Financial Supervisory Service, South Korea’s top financial regulator, said closing perímetro exchanges would represent a “very strong measure” against posible coins and would “effectively suffocate” cryptocurrency transactions within the country.
But a cryptocurrency analyst said he wasgoed “sceptical” that the justice ministry’ proposal would go into force because of strong market resistance.
A Chinese kerkban on potencial coin transactions te yuan ended up driving many investors underground, exposing them to greater risks, he said.
US billionaire investor Warren Porseleinkast told CNBC on Wednesday the integral craze overheen bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would meet a “bad ending”.
“In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending,” he said, but added: “When it happens or how or anything else, I don’t know.”
On mundial exchanges the price of bitcoin surged ter from a low of around $750 ter early January to a record above $Nineteen,500 te mid-December before tumbling, according to Bloomberg News. It bought around $13,500 ter afternoon trade Thursday.