Now to news that might worry local Bitcoin
traders. The Korean government has taken its first
steps… to regulate the local cryptocurrency market. Financial authorities are considering new
regulations,… that could ban most virtual currency transactions… save for a select
few… operating under strict guidelines. Yu Joonhee reports. For the first time,… the Korean government
has applied new restrictions… on virtual accounts used for cryptocurrency trading…
in the country’s major commercial banks. Woori Bank and Korea Development Bank… announced
they will be closing all virtual accounts… used for the trading of Bitcoin and other
virtual currencies… by the end of this year. It remains to be seen if other major lenders,…
including Shinhan Bank and Nonghyup Bank will follow suit with similar steps. Such measures will effectively freeze most
traders… out of the cryptocurrency market… as the country’s leading virtual currency
exchanges… such as Bithumb and Coin One… require users to create a virtual account…
before they can conduct any transactions. The banks will also introduce new screening
measures,… to block overseas remittances that have suspected links… to virtual currency
trading. Korea’s financial authorities and the Justice
Ministry,… are set to hold a joint meeting this week… to discuss new regulations on
cryptocurrencies. Some of the options on the table… include
a ban on local virtual currency exchanges in *principle,… only allowing exceptions
for those operating under strict requirements. Bitcoin prices in Korea have seen wild fluctuations…
skyrocketing to 24-point-9 million won at its peak on December 8th,… a near 25-fold
jump compared to the beginning of this year. Amid concerns of speculation and overheating,…
the police discovered a fraud ring back in August… that stole over 140 million U.S.
dollars worth of virtual currencies from 35-thousand people. Yu Joonhee, Arirang News.