South Korea Cryptocurrency Trading Ban Is Still Undecided

south korea cryptocurrency trading ban

South Korea’s Blue House has clarified that there is not a cryptocurrency ban being considered by the country. Even though two Korean Bitcoin exchanges were raided, the government is not planning to ban cryptocurrency any time soon. They even further clarified that many different government organizations would be coordinating to fully allow regulated cryptocurrency trading.

Yu Yong-seok, a spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Justice clarified to Korean press that their previous words were not indicative of the entire South Korean government’s stance he said that the position that cryptocurrency was only used for gambling “[…] is a position of the Ministry of Justice, not a government position.”

South Korea cryptocurrency trading ban won’t be happening in the short term

The political party currently in the Blue House, the South Korean equivalent of the American White House, commented:

“The government announcement should be based on detailed reviews and coordination. If there is a problem, we should warn and prepare in advance. “The behavior we showed today was the opposite. Minister of Justice Park Sang-ki, who is responsible for the announcement today, has lost confidence.”

Some are even petitioning for Attorney General Park’s removal from office. The South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance additionally revealed that they first heard of the supposed Korean cryptocurrency trading ban of 2018 through media reports – and were shocked. Cryptocurrency is at a size now that individual arms of government can’t act alone. Even in the United States, the different statuses of Bitcoin in different regulatory bodies has somewhat stifled innovation, even just at the federal level not including individual states’ additional requirements such as the BitLicense.

Minister of Justice Says South Korea Prepares Bill to Ban Cryptocurrency Trading; Raids Coinone and Bithumb

south korea bans cryptocurrency trading

The Justice Ministry of South Korea has announced plans to ban cryptocurrency trading. While this is not a ban on the use and holding of cryptocurrency, the effect on exchanges is already being felt. Multiple Korean cryptocurrency exchanges have been raided by local tax authorities and police. The alleged crime? Tax evasion. The finance ministry had increasingly been looking into local cryptocurrency exchanges, especially as their activity grew to eclipse that of Korean stock exchanges such as Kosdaq. Korean official Park Sang-ki said at a press conference:

“There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges.”

Korean cryptocurrency exchanges raided by authorities

The two largest Bitcoin exchanges in Korea, Coinone and Bithumb, were raided during this past week. According to a Coinone employee that spoke to Reuters under conditions of anonymity, the exchange is cooperating with authorities on the tax matter. He said:

“Local police also have been investigating our company since last year, they think what we do is gambling.”

In addition to exchanges, the finance ministry is also looking into the banks that are providing virtual currency account services to exchanges, and possibly other companies. According to reports, six local bank are under the eye of financial authorities for offering such services.

Cryptocurrency Market Cap retreats on false news of Korean cryptocurrency trading ban

Since the release of this news, cryptocurrency markets across the world have reacted to the news negatively. Korean exchanges were a major driver of volume prior to these events, and were largely perceived to have captured the activity of other Asian cryptocurrency traders, such as those in China. Which cryptocurrency exchange becomes the top of the pack now, remains to be seen. One thing seems certain though, the days of the top volume exchanges being based in South Korea and driving the all time highs are long gone.

Top 5 Best Performing Cryptocurrencies of 2017

While Bitcoin’s meteoric rise of over 1,000 percent in value has made big headlines, it wasn’t one of the top five best performing cryptocurrencies in 2017. Ripple (XRP) was the highest performing, with a 36,018 percent rise in value. The other virtual currencies in the top five were NEM, Ardor, Stellar and Dash. This ranking compares the value of cryptoassets (both cryptocurrencies and tokens issued on the Ethereum blockchain). The Bitcoin price rise was ranked No. 13.

Ripple 2017 year gain: 36,018 percent

Ripple is a payment system that serves financial institutions. Its technology is designed to enable quick payment options, even across international borders. It launched in 2012 and is self-advertised as having a “five-year track record of stable technology and governance.” Public interest in Ripple increased notably at the close of 2017 as news spread about its growing list of partnerships with traditional financial institutions such as American Express.

NEM 2017 year gain: 29,842 percent

NEM (“New Economy Movement”) launched its blockchain technology and cryptocurrency XEM in 2014. The NEM “smart asset system” is designed to offer many services; it can manage financial assets or store transactions and records such as notarizations, supply chains and ownership records. It can also be used to launch new cryptocurrencies or tokens. Notably, in 2017, Hitachi partnered with Tech Bureau to adopt the NEM-based Mijin Blockchain platform to handle merchants’ membership loyalty programs. NEM’s 2017 growth was 29,842 percent.

Ardor 2017 year gain: 16,809 percent

Ardor (ARDR) is a blockchain platform built on technology from Nxt that launched in 2017. It offers a parent and child architecture in which companies can build Ardor-based services and products on the child chain that are secured by the main chain. Child chain data is “pruned to reduce the size of the blockchain,” which allows Ardor to be fast and scalable. Also, it attributes some of it efficiency to running on a proof-of-stake consensus, which eliminates mining competition. Its value rose 16,809 in 2017.

Stellar 2017 year gain: 14,441 percent

Stellar (XLM) is a global financial blockchain network that focuses on offering quick payment processing and low fees. It was founded in 2014. In 2017, joined IBM and a network of banks to launch a blockchain banking initiative in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. Stellar focuses on providing innovative banking solutions and financial access, “in particular to the more than 2.5 billion unbanked people in emerging markets across the world.” It also launched the Stellar Partnership Grant Program in 2017, through which it plans to give out millions in USD grants to organizations who will use its technology to “to improve the financial landscape and promote financial inclusion.” Stellar saw a 14,441 percent increase in value in 2017.

Dash 2017 year gain: 9,265 percent

The cryptocurrency and digital money system Dash (“digital cash”) offers private, instant payments with low fees that are based on a global blockchain network. Dash launched in 2014. It’s value rose 9,265 percent in 2017, when it made headlines for launching a blockchain research lab in partnership with Arizona State University. It also partnered up with digital payments provider, Alt Thirty Six, with an aim to serve “cannabis customers, merchants and vendors,” who are often in need of additional financial programs due to a dearth of conventional banking support.

Following these top five performing cryptocurrencies were Ethereum, Golem, Binance Coin, Litecoin and Omise GO.

Coinbase Back Online After Suspending Trading During Bitcoin Price Panic


Bitcoin exchange and brokerage service Coinbase is back online following multiple outages that forced the company to suspend trading on Friday as the cryptocurrency markets endured their worst correction in at least a month.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the entire cryptocurrency market entered a severe corrective phase on Thursday, sending nearly every top 100 coin and token into a tailspin and spurring investors with weak hands to scramble toward the exits.

bitcoin price
Source: BitcoinWisdom/Bitfinex

Unfortunately, many traders were greeted with a message that has become all too familiar when they logged into their Coinbase accounts on Friday:

“Due to today’s high traffic, buys and sells may be intermittently offline. We’re working on restoring full availability as soon as possible,” a statement on the Coinbase website read this morning.

According to the company’s status page, the exchange suffered from two trading suspensions during the height of the frenzy, each lasting approximately one hour.

Source: Coinbase

This was just the latest public relations headache for Coinbase, which is far and away the most popular cryptocurrency brokerage service in the US but has struggled to scale its operations to match rising consumer demand.

The company has suffered persistent outages throughout the year, including one as recently as yesterday, but the company has also incurred the ire of some bitcoin diehards for its support of the contentious SegWit2x scaling proposal, as well as its seeming reluctance to implement Segregated Witness (SegWit) now that it has been activated on the Bitcoin network.

Just this week, Coinbase garnered significant criticism for its messy rollout of support for bitcoin cash that saw the company suspend trading just minutes after its launch and many community members accuse employees of engaging in insider trading.

As of 4 p.m. ET, Coinbase’s trading platform had been operational for three consecutive hours, likely because traffic congestion tapered as the bitcoin price leveled out.

After dipping as low as $10,700 on Bitfinex, the bitcoin price appeared to recover to a point of relative stability, and at press time it was trading at a global average of $13,744, according to the BlockExplorer Bitcoin Price Index.

Featured Image from Pexels

GDAX Review: Coinbase’s Bitcoin Exchange, Litecoin Exchange, and Ethereum Exchange

The Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) is a trading platform launched by in May of 2016. GDAX trades Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC), and accepts USD, EUR, and GBP Deposits. GDAX owned by the Coinbase Inc, which is based in San Francisco, California.

GDAX is suited to the needs of traders with mid-level experience in crypto trading, as well as institutional and professional investors. GDAX is fairly easy to understand once you get the hang of it, but may be slightly confusing for a first time trader. Customer USD funds in GDAX are FDIC insured, meaning your balance up to $250,000 is protected.

GDAX currently ranks #3 on the BlockExplorer Top 25 Cryptocurrency Exchanges List.

GDAX Bitcoin Exchange Summary:

gdax cryptoName: GDAX
Total trading pairs: 9
Founded: 2016
Deposit fees: no
Withdrawal fees: no
Trading fees: 0.00% – 0.25%
Margin trading: yes
USA accepted: yes
Verification levels and withdrawal limits:

Verification Level


Verified Algorithmic

GDAX Exchange Verification Process:

Users who are already registered on Coinbase don’t have to create an account from scratch and can log in with their Coinbase credentials.

GDAX has two levels of verification. Note: They do not have an unverified tier available for use. Verification is required, and users are not allowed to deposit or trade until the verification is completed.

The verification process is straightforward and is different depending on the country. This is due to the differing regulatory atmospheres in different countries. Some are friendly and some are not. In fact, in some countries, like the United States (US), there are differing regulations depending on state.

US users will need to provide a copy of their driver’s license, residential address, and SSN. Please note that GDAX isn’t currently allowing every American state so they won’t accept US passports as an identification document, they need to see and verify what state you are living in to be compliant. As noted previously, some American states are not allowed. US states not yet supported by GDAX include Wyoming, Hawaii, and Minnesota.

UK users will need a photo of an ID card, driver’s license or Passport as well answers to several identity questions

Users from other countries such as Singapore, Australia, Canada and European countries are required to provide a photo of an ID card, driver’s license or Passport and another photo of a different ID document.

Once you are verified: Happy trading!