Bitcoin falls after threat of ban from South Korea


But the MSF disagreed, saying, "We do not share the same views as the Ministry of Justice on a potential cryptocurrency exchange ban".

News of the bill comes from S. Korea Justice Minister Park Sang-ki. Reuters states in the earlier article: "Legislation for an outright ban of virtual coin trading will require a majority vote of the total 297 members of the National Assembly, a process that could take months or even years".

In the meantime, the worldwide 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.

CoinMarketCap, a global source for cryptocurrency market data, caused cryptocurrencies to crash on Monday after it had tweeted out that it will exclude Korean exchanges prices due to the significant difference in prices compared to the rest of the world.

There are more than a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, according to the Korea Blockchain Industry Association, with several being raided this week in a probe into alleged tax evasion. "It has started to resemble gambling and speculation", Mr Park added, citing the fact that bitcoin prices are higher in South Korea than globally - the so-called "kimchi premium".

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Additionally, South Korea's Financial Services Commission has been conducting onsite inspections of six local banks that offer cryptocurrency-related account services. While this news isn't good for investors of virtual currencies, it also doesn't mean that a ban is a sure thing.

Over the last 24 hours, concerns over the reports emanating from South Korea - a major crypto market - have sent the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies diving.

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap saw its price drop by 5%.

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.

A Chinese ban on virtual coin transactions in yuan ended up driving many investors underground, exposing them to greater risks, he said.