Proposed Ban On Cryptocurrency Trading, Exchanges In South Korea

Global chart of market capitalization of cryptocurrencies

Global chart of market capitalization of cryptocurrencies

Prices for some of the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, dropped sharply $100 Billion on Monday after removes data from some South Korean exchanges, Wall Street Journal said.

CMC, however, sent out an official Tweet on Monday, citing "extreme divergence in prices from the rest of the world and limited arbitrage opportunity" as the main reason behind dropping Korean exchanges from their index.

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.

Park Sang-ki, the country's justice minister, said there were "great concerns" about digital currencies and that his department was preparing a bill that could ban trading in all of them.

It's all a bit of a mess, but one thing's for certain: South Korea has a lot of influence in the virtual currency market, and if it decides to ban trading, you can expect the value of your tokens to drop - as evidenced by the sudden downturn which, ultimately, was merely the result of speculative reports.

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

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

Earlier today, Choi Jong-ku, the chairman of the Financial Service Commission, held an emergency briefing to clarify the government's stance on cryptocurrency, during which he said a joint investigation with the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit was launched into six banks where cryptocurrency has been exchanged.

"We're closely monitoring government moves". While this news isn't good for investors of virtual currencies, it also doesn't mean that a ban is a sure thing.

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.

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

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.

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