South Korea backs down on its plans to ban cryptocurrency trading


On Friday, the Finance Ministry of South Korea announced that there will be no cryptocurrency trading ban after all, contradicting the statement made yesterday, which prompted a mass sell-off.

Quoted by the news agency Yonhap, the Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said:

“All government ministries agree on the need for a government response to an overheating in cryptocurrency speculation and for a degree of regulation.The issue of banning exchanges that the justice minister talked about yesterday is a proposal by the Justice Ministry and it needs more coordination among ministries.”

This announcement has been made after the major criticism that arose in South Korea after yesterday’s news by the Ministry of Justice, which declared that South Korea plans to ban trading of cryptocurrency. It seems that the Ministry of Justice has spoken without the consent of other governmental agencies.

Over 60,000 Koreans have signed a petition against the ban and for the dismissal of Park Sang-ki, the head of Ministry of Justice, who originally announced the cryptocurrency trading ban. South Korea is one of the biggest ecosystems for cryptocurrency mining and trading.

After the news came out, the price of Bitcoin dropped to $13,822, more than 30% from the $20,000 peak that it reached on December 17th.

In South Korea, the trading of cryptocurrencies is even more speculative than the standard levels of speculation seen in the cryptocurrency market, as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are overvalued compared to other international exchanges.

Bithumb, a Korean exchange platform, was trading Bitcoin at $18,000 even when other major exchange platforms were pricing the asset around the $13,000 level. Recently, Coinmarketcap removed a group of exchanges from Korea because of the huge difference in price.

At the end of 2017, South Korea announced that it will be banning cryptocurrency exchanges from issuing new trading accounts, explaining that the exchange can be shut down if the ruling is not respected. South Korea’s commission added that trading should be done under the real name of the individual.

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