December 14, 2017 10:56
The government on Wednesday decided to ban minors and foreigners from trading in cryptocurrencies in Korea.
The ban will be enforced by making it impossible for them to open accounts at Korean bitcoin exchanges. Banks and other financial institutions will also be prohibited from trading or holding cryptocurrencies, and the government is considering levying taxes on profits made from such investments. The measures come amid growing concerns over a bitcoin frenzy here.
The value of bitcoin surged from W1 million at the start of this year to around W18 million recently, prompting more than 2 million people here to speculate on the cyber money (US$1=W1,093).
The first stirrings of government intervention here last week sent bitcoin plunging 40 percent over the weekend, making it the biggest bubble in history.
There were even calls to ban cryptocurrency trading in Korea altogether. But the government opted instead to step up monitoring and bolster penalties for abuses.
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