​South Korea to tax Bitcoin profits, ban foreigners from trading

Foreigners and minors will be prevented from creating accounts or trading virtual currencies in South Korea, the government said, while it will also tax profits for investors.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

South Korea will ban minors and foreigners from trading in virtual currency or creating bank accounts for them in the country, the government announced.

It will also tax profits from income from virtual currency and impose stricter authentication for traders, the Office of Government Policy Coordination, which reports to the prime minister, said.

The announcement follows an emergency meeting by deputy ministers of financial regulators due to overheated security trading in virtual currency. Last week, the price of Bitcoin, the most popular of the currencies, fluctuated between 14 million won ($13,000) to 25 million won ($23,000). There are concerns over it being a bubble due among rampant speculation.

The office said that it will actively work to prevent losses for normal investors and block exchanges from becoming a place for speculation. It won't impose a complete ban as to not stifle innovation in fintech, it said.

Financial institutes such as banks will be banned from owning virtual currency, buying them, mortgaging them, or owning shares in them.

Those who use virtual currency will go through a stricter guideline for authentication. The government already previously announced that it will prevent ICOs.

Transactions in virtual currency will only be allowed in exchanges.

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