South Korea said on Thursday it plans to ban trading of cryptocurrency, including the popular bitcoin.
The announcement sent bitcoin prices much lower and created unrest in the cryptocurrency market.
Justice Minister Park Sang-kisaid the government was preparing a bill to ban trading of the virtual money on South Korean currency exchanges.
He said, "There are great concerns regarding virtual currenciesand the justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges."
The price of bitcoin in South Korea dropped as much as 21 percent immediately after the minister’s comments.Around the world, one bitcoin was valued at about $14,000 on Thursday, January 11.Over the past year, the price moved from less than $1,000 in January 2017 to a high of $19,000 last month.
Bitcoin is different from national currencies, which are supported by governments and national banks.It is stored as a line of computer code.It is not printed on paper or something you can hold.