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THE YCEO: Bitcoin and Ethereum plummet

The value of two of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and Ethereum, has fallen off a cliff after South Korea announced curbs on speculation ahead of a decision on a full shutdown, figures reveal.

The value of ethereum slid by around $60 starting its decline at 10.00pm UTC to start Tuesday in free fall.

While Bitcoin’s fortunes mirrored its competitor losing $380 in a single day.

South Korea has announced a curb on crypto futures and vowed the come down hard on any criminal activities involving illegal currencies.

The country, which had been a big player in the cryptocurrency boom, is now considering a full shutdown of all exchanges.

The government has also vowed to support research and development into the blockchain on which cryptocurrencies are based.

On Wednesday it was revealed by Justice Minister Park Sang-ki that the government was preparing a law to close all the nation’s exchanges.

Senior official Jung Ki-joon said: “We will respond strongly to cryptocurrency speculation and illegal acts, but we will provide support to research and development relating to blockchain technology.”

“The proposed shutdown of exchanges that the justice minister mentioned recently is one of the measures suggested by the justice ministry to curb speculation.

“A government-wide decision will be made after sufficient consultation and coordination of opinions.”

The South Korean government has twice moved to calm the volatile crypto boom which has swept the country.

Bitcoin currently stands at £9,399 ($12,967) after enjoying highs yesterday of £10,364 ($14,298) having lost £965 ($1,331) of its value in less than 24 hours.

Ethereum was subjected to a similar decline losing £115 ($160) from its starting price of £1,007 ($1,390).

Coinone and Bithumb, two of the country’s biggest exchanges, were raided last week.

Finance minister Kim Dong-yeon called for more consolation from the government on their a response.

He said: “All government ministries agree on the need for a government response to an overheating in cryptocurrency speculation and for a degree of regulation.

“The issue of banning exchanges that the justice minister talked about yesterday is a proposal by the Justice Ministry and it needs more coordination among ministries.”

The move is part of a deliberate policy to get trading under control that has hit the market in the last few months.

In September the government banned crowdfunding practice known as initial coin offerings (ICO).

The practice has been used by startup and to fund projects with firms creating their own currency and selling it to raise money for investment.

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