South Korea moves to curb speculation in cryptocurrency trading

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This highlights a huge local obsession relating to cryptocurrencies within the South Korean population.

The new rules will target anonymous trading of virtual currencies and crack down on money laundering activities, Seoul said. It will also introduce a new legislation to allow regulators to shut down all digital currency exchanges if needed. "I may have missed the Bitcoin boat but new boats are coming and I want to hop on those", he told the Times. After forming a high of $16416 this week, the cryptocurrency came under a selling pressure as traders showed their reaction to South Korea's news.

Bitcoin did very little during the trading session on Friday, as traders are focusing on the new year celebration more than anything else. However, this is surely not the first time that we have witnessed this kind of reaction in the Bitcoin price.

After Japan, South Korea is the most dominant Asian country in cryptocurrency trading and accounts for more than a fifth of average global trading volumes. The South Korean government hopes to cool things down by making it clear to investors that they will, if necessary, crack down hard on cryptocurrencies.

Minister Hong Nam-kisaid the government "can't let this abnormal situation of speculation go on any longer", speaking after a meeting of vice ministers from related ministries.

The government is also considering levying transfer and exchange taxes on cryptocurrency trading. As pointed out by the Times, cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea can already identify customers using cell phone data, and they've been working with the nation's banks on additional transparency measures. "They are anxious about giving a wrong perception to the people".

Bitcoin price recently saw a major downturn after it skyrocketed to $19666 levels on December 17.

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