Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Bitcoin Rises in South Korea Despite Reports of Gov't Intervention

Bitcoin Rises in South Korea Despite Reports of Gov't Intervention

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.

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.

However, after the Justice Ministry spoke of an impending ban (and, indeed, after the worldwide 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".

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

News of the bill comes from S. Korea Justice Minister Park Sang-ki.

"The ministry is preparing legislation that basically bans any transactions based on a virtual currency through the trading floor", he told journalists.

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

In the meantime, the global price of Ethereum dropped 1.6 percent at a similar time, drawing a stark contrast with the 6.1 percent price increase in South Korea, according to Bithumb's analysis based on data from website CoinMarketCap.

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

Ripple has warned its customers to look at multiple data sources before making trading decisions after its XRP cryptocurrency fell from second- to third-largest by market cap because of the change.

Analysts said bitcoin was also undermined by news earlier in the session that South Korean financial authorities were inspecting six local banks that offer virtual currency accounts to institutions.

The total market capitalisation of some 1,300 cryptocurrencies tracked by the website then plunged 20 per cent from around $830bn to $669bn, it has been reported. The government later responded by saying that the bill isn't finalized and that it may not ban cryptocurrencies.

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