According to Reuters, South Korean officials are working on documentation that will make it illegal to trade virtual currencies on local exchanges.
The country’s Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said the decision comes in the wake of discussions and agreements between governmental departments, including its Finance Ministry and financial regulators.
Reuters reported that Sang-ki announced the ban in a press conference, stating:
“There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and the justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges.”
However, South Korea-based Cointelegraph contributor Joseph Young reported on his personal Twitter today, citing local sources, that the South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance does not agree with the proposal from the Ministry of Justice to ban cryptocurrency trade in the country. Young reports that a final decision has yet to be made.
South Korea Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MSF)
“We do not share the same views as the Ministry of Justice on a potential #cryptocurrency exchange ban.”
MSF is upset MoJ released premature statement.Massive confusion.https://t.co/anbsOJz1KX
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) January 11, 2018
As reported on Dec. 25, South Korea set up a task force to create legislation for the rapidly growing crypto market in the country. Contrary to an outright ban, the body plans to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges as legitimate financial service providers, and ban foreigners and underaged investors from trading on South Korean exchanges.
FUD leads to sell-off
The popularity of cryptocurrency trading in South Korea has seen the price of virtual currencies trading far higher than exchanges in different countries.
Nevertheless, the minister’s remarks led to a sell-off of cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin (BTC)price in South Korea plunged 21 percent down to $17,064. This lower BTC price in South Korea is still far higher than the average Bitcoin price on CoinMarketCap ($13,501 at press time), which excludes South Korean exchanges, due to the divergence in prices of cryptocurrencies in the country…