Bitcoin falls after threat of ban from South Korea

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However, on Sunday, the website made a decision to remove three Korean exchanges from its price calculations, and since Korean exchanges usually trade higher than other markets, the overall average price for each coin declined, leading many to believe that the crypto market as a whole was in a bearish trend. But some popular exchanges such as Biance and Bitfinex stopped accepting new accounts from Korea early this month, saying the Korean demand was "extraordinary".

The hyper-wired South has emerged as a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading, accounting for some 20 per cent of global bitcoin transactions - about 10 times the country's share of the world economy.

'South Korea has always had a premium because it's very hard to get cash out of the country, ' said Dwyer. Reuters reported soon after that the Justice Ministry had said that a bill was forthcoming.

Cryptocurrencies rapidly reversed course, with bitcoin climbing back to trade just 6.5 per cent down, and ethereum off 12 per cent.

The website now excludes data from Korea's top three exchanges - Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit - from its calculations of virtual money rates. "We have nothing further to say at this moment", she told AFP.

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Justice Minister Park San-ki said the nation was preparing a bill to ban the trading of cryptocurrencies on domestic exchanges, before revising his statement to stress that its decision has not yet been finalised. While this news isn't good for investors of virtual currencies, it also doesn't mean that a ban is a sure thing.

So, it's not set in stone that trading is definitely going to be banned - and that's because the government is reportedly toying with other ideas to regulate activity, like clamping down on unlicensed exchanges.

Yesterday, the home page of CoinMarketCap suggested a huge decline in it the cryptocurrency market where the overall valuations plunged by almost 10% while the price of Ripple, which has been the most talked-after cryptocurrency in last two weeks, declined by almost 30%.

But a cryptocurrency analyst said he was "sceptical" that the justice ministry' proposal would go into force because of strong market resistance.

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