S.Korea to hold emergency meeting on cryptocurrencies, measures expected Friday

S.Korea to hold emergency meeting on cryptocurrencies, measures expected Friday

Bitcoin-related shares in Seoul slumped in early trade on news of the government's emergency meeting, before rebounding as the statement did not mention harsh restrictions.

Anchor: South Korea's government has met to take emergency steps to put the brakes on frenzied speculation as well as scams in the little understood blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. they chose to prohibit financial institutions from holding or purchasing virtual currency as well as from making equity investments.

The official declined to give further details, but the announcement underscores how global regulators are grappling with the frenzy over cryptocurrencies, just days after the launch of the world's first bitcoin futures.

Prices on Bithumb, South Korea's biggest Bitcoin exchange, fell almost five percent after the announcement.

The hardline ban, if enforced, will take after China's precedent in carrying out crippling measures to effectively shutter its local bitcoin industry. "They are not institutionalised transactions". The virtual currency has been trading in Korea at a significant premium over prevailing worldwide rates.

For instance, Korea's National Tax Service - operating under the purview of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance - is drawing up a framework to enforce income taxes on cryptocurrencies.

South Korea is considering banning all kinds of cryptocurrency transactions in the country as a way to cool down the worldwide craze for digital currencies, the top financial regulator said Monday.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) made a decision to impose fines totaling 60 million won (US$54,970) on BTC Korea.Com, an operator of Bithumb, the largest bitcoin and ethereum digital currency exchange in South Korea, for its alleged negligence in the protection of its users' information.

World Bitcoin prices have surged globally this year, soaring from less than $1,000 in January to $17,000 this week.