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South Korea to Decide Thursday on Crypto Exchange Regulation

19 January 2018

Spencer Bogart, research head and partner at Blockchain Capital, appears highly optimistic about Bitcoin despite its fall from grace to a value almost 50% below the $20,000 it hit on December 17 past year.

But the proposed move by South Korea would go even further, meaning an outright ban rather than restricted access, and is reportedly inspired by a desire to target "speculative frenzy and crime" associated with cryptocurrencies.

Shares of Riot Blockchain, Marathon Patent, Longfin Corp, Long Blockchain Corp and Social Reality Inc all fell more than 10 percent.

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Bitcoin prices plunged over $3,000 between on the morning of January 16, 2018, hitting the lowest-ever for the month at $10,500.

Analysts put the fall down to regulatory concerns in South Korea, China and now Russian Federation.

"You have more regulatory uncertainty. and because of these falls you have these other outfalls", he said, referring to the collapse of some cryptocurrencies within the recent slump in prices. Or we could frame it completely differently and talk about how Bitcoin is up 100 times or 1000 percent from a year ago.

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"(The government) is considering both shutting down all local virtual currency exchanges or just the ones who have been violating the law", Choi said in parliament, as quoted by Reuters. The steep decline has also affected other major cryptocurrencies, including Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.

In South Korea, shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges is still an option, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said in an interview with TBS radio. Following the ban on initial coin offering - a way for startups to raise funds from the public using a virtual currency- online groups that facilitate peer-to-peer trade are under a surveillance in coming months. People are selling to try and get the hell out of there.

The cryptocurrencies market has so far had a rocky start to the new year with prices of the top coins plummeting alarmingly. Ethereum was trading as low as $823 (£594), down 38 percent in a week, while Ripple lost over half its value in a week.

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The high demand from South Koreans has created what investors call a "kimchi premium", the extra price the South Koreans have to pay to buy digital currencies, sold in South Korea at higher than the average global prices.

South Korea to Decide Thursday on Crypto Exchange Regulation