Digital currencies dip as South Korea considers trading…

A representative of the website confirmed the moves in an email to The Wall Street Journal, citing "extreme price discrepancy" among South Korean exchanges.

Moreover, due to huge trading volumes being contributed by South Korean investors, its local exchanges have shown prices at a premium rate which is much higher than that shown by markets like GDAX and Bitfinex.

'South Korea has always had a premium because it's very hard to get cash out of the country, ' said Dwyer.

The hyper-wired South has emerged as a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading, accounting for some 20 per cent of global bitcoin transactions - about 10 times the country's share of the world economy.

A shutdown was "one of the measures that have been prepared by the justice ministry", chief press secretary Yoon Young Chan said in a statement, "but it is not a finalised decision". As of 4 p.m.in Korea, Bitcoin was trading at 23.148 million won (US$21.692) at Bithumb, down 7.14 percent from a day earlier, which is still nearly 40 percent higher than the USA price.

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

More news: National Football League television ratings down 9.7 percent during 2017 regular season

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

Bithumb was raided by tax authorities, who inspected the company's documents, on Wednesday.

So, it's not set in stone that trading is definitely going to be banned - and that's because the government is reportedly toying with other ideas to regulate activity, like clamping down on unlicensed exchanges.

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

The move appears to have taken place just before 5 a.m. UTC (1 a.m. ET), when a steep, $35 billion drop in the total market cap of cryptocurrencies can be seen in CoinMarketCap's data.

An official at the Financial Supervisory Service, South Korea's top financial regulator, said closing local exchanges would represent a "very strong measure" against virtual coins and would "effectively suffocate" cryptocurrency transactions within the country.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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