South Korea considers bitcoin ban as currency takes a huge tumble

clock • 1 min read

South Korea has joined a number of regulators and governments attempting to dampen bitcoin fever, in the case of the Seoul government by considering banning digital currency exchanges in its jurisdiction.

In doing so, it would be going even further than China which, as reported in International Investment, is planning to turn off cheap power for bitcoin mining and last September banned initial coin offerings.

This week, China was said to be stepping up his efforts to curtail bitcoin trading, and was said to be looking to block access to mobile and online apps and sites that offer exchange services in digital currencies.

But the proposed move by South Korea would go even further, meaning an outright ban rather than restricted access, and is reportedly inspired by a desire to target “speculative frenzy and crime” associated with cryptocurrencies.

In the parliament in Seoul, the Financial Services Commission chief executive said that the government was “considering both shutting down all local virtual currency exchanges or just the ones who have been violating the law”.

Elsewhere, governor of the Bank of Korea Lee Ju-yeol, pictured above, told a news conference that “cryptocurrency is not a legal currency and is not being used as such as of now”, indicating a hardline stance.

Yesterday, International Investment reported how the SEC in the US and the Shenzen Stock Exchange had both moved to block, or restrict, companies using the word “blockchain” in their names to lure investors.

It’s been a bad week for the crypocurrency; bitcoin dropped below US$10,000, its worst fall in three years, although at time of writing had rallied a little to US$11,236, but still substantially below its high-water mark of US$19,783, which it hit on December 1, 2017.