South Korea's Presidential Office denies plans to ban cryptocurrency trading

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Then South Korea's justice minister announced on Thursday (late Wednesday in the U.S.) that they are preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading.

Any cryptocurrency ban would need a majority vote from the National Assembly, which could take months or years, Reuters said.

Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrency is now experiencing a huge slumped as South Korea's ministry of justice reemphasized its proposed ban on crypto trading.

A series of measures have failed to curb overheated virtual currency speculation in the country and Park said it would be "devastating if the bubble bursts".

Park said the Justice Ministry had been wary of digital money from the start and had repeatedly conveyed such concerns to other government ministries.

The Indian finance ministry recently cautioned investors about the risks of trading in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, saying digital currency investments are like "Ponzi schemes".

The move would "effectively suffocate" cryptocurrency transactions within the country by creating "enormous obstacles" for traders, he told AFP.

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Mass confusion and a wave of panic selling has ensued during the Asian trading session this morning on reports that the South Korean government has banned crypto trading and raided exchanges.

That news is a major development for the cryptocurrency space, as South Korea is one of the biggest markets for major coins like bitcoin and ethereum. Ripple trimmed its 21% tumble to a 14% drop, while ethereum slumped 5%.

South Korea's Presidential Office said today that a plan to ban trading cryptocurrencies via exchanges in the nation is still not set in stone.

But the cryptocurrency quickly recovered and traded at $13,647.90 at 1:30 pm UTC, data from CoinMarketCap showed.

The crackdown in South Korea by authorities included a raid on the country's second largest virtual currency operator, Bithumb.

An official at Bithumb told the press, "We were asked by the tax officials to disclose paperwork", while Coinone says it is cooperating with investigative efforts. Korea's government unveiled multiple options for cryptocurrency exchange regulation on December 28, including allowing trading to continue under tighter supervision. The officials reportedly visited their offices amid an investigation into alleged tax evasion.

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.