Cryptocurrencies react to South Korea's bill to ban trading

Bitcoin Seoul

There are more than a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, according to the Korea Blockchain Industry Association, with several being raided this week in a probe into alleged tax evasion.

South Korea is an important market to digital currencies with demand as high as 30% depending on the cryptocurrency in question according to CNBC and they trade at a premium to other countries.

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

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".

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, reports from South Korea indicated that some of the nation's authorities are planning a ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country.

Choi said that the government is ramping up monitoring efforts, and is poised to hold accountable banks for their duty to prevent money laundering.

The announcement removed data from Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit from CoinMarketCap's average calculations.

During the emergency briefing earlier today, Choi, who chairs the Financial Services Commission, said South Korea is seeking to collaborate with China and Japan by "setting up a detailed system of cooperation". "We have nothing further to say at this moment", she told AFP.

Bitcoin is the world's most popular digital currency, or cryptocurrency, and its price soared previous year as private investors piled in.

CoinMarketCap, which did not announce the change and did not respond to a request for comment, now shows 7,556 reporting markets for its 1,386 displayed cryptocurrencies on its website.

While the community is divided over the issue of leaving Korean exchanges out of the market data, the majority criticized CMC's decision to make such a major change without prior notice.

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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