South Korea is one of the centers of bitcoin trading in the world with its exchanges accounting for a mammoth share of the global trade in bitcoin, monero, ripple, ethereum among others. Part of the trading in South Korea is carried out anonymously and this might be banned if we are to believe new reports in international media.
According to a report on Reuters, South Korean authorities are likely to introduce curbs on the trading of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin within the country – specifically anonymous trading. South Korean government has time and again warned against the volatility of cryptocurrencies and has asked citizens to be very careful.
Authorities have also pointed out premiums in prices of cryptocurrencies traded on South Korean exchanges compared to other global counterparts.
According to a report on the AFP, government officials in the country are concerned that virtual currency trading is overheating irrationally and it isn’t possible for them to overlook this abnormal speculative situation.
The South Korean government is planning to implement restrictive laws that will reportedly include a ban on opening anonymous cryptocurrency accounts to crackdown on money laundering and financial fraud.
“We will…resolutely respond to such crimes by slapping maximum sentences possible on offenders,” the statement reportedly added, adding authorities would “leave all policy options open, including closure of a cryptocurrency exchange when deemed necessary.”
Further, the new laws will also empower regulators with the authority to shutter cryptocurrency exchanges, if needed, the government added. This particular hardline ban was recommended by the justice ministry, according to today’s statement. Earlier this month, the justice ministry prosecutor in charge of cryptocurrency-related crimes claimed the measure is to protect retail investors from potential scams.
The reported curbs come within days off South Korean authorities conducting onsite inspections of multiple domestic bitcoin exchanges following the December 19th hack of Youbit, a Seoul-based exchange that declared bankruptcy soon after.