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South Korea Proposes Banning the Main Reason to Use Cryptocurrency

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Amid a global bitcoin obsession that has everyone asking “So, what is bitcoin?”, South Korea — which has been particularly seized by bitcoin mania — is looking at measures to regulate cryptocurrency, including considering whether or not the country should shut down their exchanges. According to The Wall Street Journal, the government warned that bitcoin and its ilk are “vulnerable to the damage from investment fraud or hacking attacks on the exchanges.”

Another measure appearing in proposed legislation for curbing bitcoin volatility is a ban on anonymous trading of the digital currency. This, if you didn’t already know, obviates pretty much the entire point of bitcoin — a decentralized, anonymous form of currency. Among other concerns, unmasking bitcoin traders would open up owners to taxation, a significant concern now that bitcoin has increased in value exponentially. Last month in the U.S., the Internal Revenue Service received court permission to procure data on more than 14,000 users from an exchange called Coinbase. According to the Verge, all of those users had in common the fact that they had “bought, sold, sent, or received more than $20,000 through their accounts in a single year between 2013 and 2015.”

At a press conference yesterday, Choe Heung-sik, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, told reporters, “I bet the bubble in bitcoin will burst later.”

South Korea Proposes Banning the Main Reason to Use Bitcoin