South Korea Has No Plan to Ban Bitcoin Trading

Crypto Briefing Bitcoin Slumps NEO Stays Constant and Ethereum Rises

"The regulatory oversight and the clampdown is really coming to the fore right now", Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said in Singapore.

Cryptocurrencies are extending losses with bitcoin headed for its worst monthly slide since December 2013 on the last day of January trading as United States regulators ramp up their scrutiny of one of the world's largest digital currency exchanges while Facebook is banning ads tied to the industry.

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $511 billion.

Kim's comment came after Korean customs announced earlier on Wednesday that it had detected an illegal foreign exchange trading almost $600 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

Seoul previously said that it is considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, which threw the market into turmoil and hammered bitcoin prices.

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Among other breaches, Customs said there were also cases where investors in Japan sent their yen worth 53.7 billion won to their partners in South Korea for illegal currency trade.

In December, after several rounds of warnings on cryptocurrency's high risks, the Korean government banned all anonymous accounts on the country's exchanges and said it was considering an outright ban on all trading activities. A final decision is yet to arrive upon.

As Reuters highlights, only licensed banks and brokers in South Korea can offer foreign exchange services. The residents and local companies who move more than an amount of $3,000 out of the country at a time are required to submit documents to the tax authorities explaining the reasons for the transfers.

Opening cryptocurrency accounts has been banned for weeks while the banks have installed the system, which ensures only real-name bank accounts and matching accounts at cryptocurrency exchanges for deposits and withdrawals.

Customs also reported of cases where Japanese investors sent their yen worth 53.7 billion won to their partners in South Korea for the goal of illegal currency trade.

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