Overnight trades dropped below $US14,000 ($17,956) on the heels of the news from South Korea, and cryptocurrency-related stocks also saw declines.
South Korea today said it would allow regulators to close virtual currency exchanges as well as ban all anonymous digital currency accounts as part of one of the many measures it has outlined to crack down on digital trading. As per the latest reports in the industry, the South Korean government is planning to bring new rules into practice in order to regulate digital currency trading in the country.
Following this news, the Bitcoin price has plunged by more than 11% in the past 24 hours and is now trading at $14375.70, according to CoinMarketCap.
Both investors and exchanges seem skeptical about a complete trading ban here considering daily transactions have already reached a whopping 7 trillion won.
According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, the announcements were made by Hong Nam-ki, the minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, after discussion with vice ministers from other governmental bodies regarding the recent rise in cryptocurrency interest and ownership domestically.
South Korea's local news agency Yonhap has reported that the head of country's financial regulation agency has said that the "bubble in bitcoin will burst later". The South Korean government is also anxious that putting regulations on cryptocurrencies could have the effect of legitimizing them in the eyes of everyday people, who have recently been swept up in the cryptocurrency craze. "The government can't leave the abnormal situation of speculation any longer". It said officials from the Justice Ministry could propose legislation that would shut down cryptocurrency exchanges nationwide, but didn't elaborate on when this might happen.
The reported curbs come within days off South Korean authorities conducting onsite inspections of multiple domestic bitcoin exchanges following the December 19th hack of Youbit, a Seoul-based exchange that declared bankruptcy soon after. But they see a price adjustment unavoidable for some time.
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