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Cryptocurrencies Fall As South Korea Moves To Ban Crypto Trading

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Major cryptocurrencies are moving downward after reports that South Korea's justice minister Park Sang-ki said the country is readying a bill to ban all crypto trading, over "great concerns." Following Park's remarks, Bitcoin tumbled nearly 10 percent.

As of 11.50 pm E.T., bitcoin was down 12.7 percent, ethereum was down 6.31 percent and Ripple was down 17 percent at CoinDesk.

South Korea has been emerging as a focus for the bitcoin world, influencing global demand for digital currencies. The move comes as the authorities around the world are struggling to regulate the virtual currencies amid the hype.

Reuters reported that the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea like Coinone and Bithumb were raided by police and tax agencies this week for alleged tax evasion.

The finance ministry is trying to find ways to tax the crypto market, which has become as big as the small-cap Kosdaq index in the country in terms of daily trading volume.

The financial authorities in the country had said previously that they were inspecting six local banks that offer virtual currency accounts to institutions over fears that increased use of these assets could lead to a surge in crime.

Many analysts believe that the infatuation for cryptocurrencies in South Korea causes concerns of gambling, especially as bitcoin demand surged and the price skyrocketed in the past one year. Also, major cryptocurrencies are priced higher in the country than elsewhere, which is abnormal.

Earlier on Monday, Bitcoin price had fallen after the website CoinMarketCap removed prices from South Korean exchanges as the coins were trading at a premium of about 30 percent in the country.

At CoinDesk, Bitcoin was at $12,999.92; ethereum was at $1,168.91; and ripple at $1.64.

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