S Korea still considers shutdown of virtual currency exchanges

Virtual Currency
A colourful array of physical Bitcoin tokens.

The South Korean government has not discounted the possibility of shutting down virtual currency exchanges in the country as part of its efforts to clamp down on “irrational” cryptocurrency investment craze in the country.

A Yonhap news agency report quoted Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon as saying that South Korea is drawing up measures to control the investment craze for cryptocurrency and that the shutdown of virtual currency exchanges is still one of the options that the government would exercise.

He also revealed that the government is also considering the option of levying taxes. Regulators currently ban banks from offering virtual accounts.

Kim said, the government stance is that it needs “to regulate cryptocurrency investment as it is a largely speculative investment”.

South Korea is home to one of the world’s biggest private bitcoin exchanges, Bithumb, which has a larger daily trading volume than the country’s main stock exchange KOSDAQ.

Bitcoin exchanges in South Korea remain unregulated because cryptocurrencies are not recognized by the government as financial products.

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