South Korea considers cryptocurrency tax as regulators grapple with 'speculative mania'

South Korea to curb cryptocurrency trading

Following an emergency meeting by ministry officials, the government is preparing a bill that will ban minors and foreigners from trading in cryptocurrencies or opening investment accounts for them within South Korea.

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

While there is a surge of interest in cryptocurrencies from South Korean investors, government regulators issue fines and conditions. Seoul will maintain a current ban on all financial institutions dealing virtual currencies. Bitcoin mining-related company JCH Systems Inc shares dropped 4.2 percent. The comments come days after his New Zealand counterpart said bitcoin appeared to be a "classic case" of a bubble and that its future was in doubt.

Despite a boom in the trading of digital currencies, such exchanges are largely unregulated as they are not recognized as financial products.

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Suggesting that the concept of "bitcoin zombies" may be real, CNN claims that South Korea has gone "bitcoin wild" with students checking the price between classes, workers are trading it as they line up for coffee and grandparents playing the market at home.

The meeting brought together senior officials from the ministries of justice, finance, science and ICT, and the Financial Services Commission, the Korea Communications Commission, the Fair Trade Commission and the National Tax Service.

South Korea may impose a tax on capital gains made on cryptocurrency, as part of measures to rein in the frenzied trading of cryptocurrency in the country. Bitcoin is trading at $16,850 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange on Wednesday, near is lifetime high of $17,428 reached on Tuesday.

South Korea's financial regulator is considering measures to restrict cryptocurrency transactions in the country, including an all-out ban, to cool down the worldwide craze for digital currencies.

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