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Especially in Asia, digital currencies have a large fan base. But after China, South Korea is now setting new rules for the Bitcoin and other cyberdevisen: Seoul wants to curb massive speculation. There is also a headwind from the USA.

Strict regulatory efforts in the crypto strongholds of China and South Korea have significantly burdened the controversial digital currency Bitcoin. Other digital currencies such as Ether, Ripple and Litecoin also came under pressure after reports of a possible trade ban in South Korea and a mining ban in China. Crypto currencies have a large fan base in Asia, so prices are particularly sensitive to news from this region.

On the Bitstamp trading platform, a Bitcoin cost just under 13,300 US dollars at noon, after having been traded at just under 15,000 dollars a few hours earlier. In a very short time the crypto currency collapsed by more than 12 percent. Ether, currently the second most important crypto currency, lost nine percent at its peak. Ripple and Litecoin dropped by up to 19 and ten percent, respectively.

After the Chinese, the South Korean government also wants to take stronger action against crypto currencies. Currently, a draft law is being prepared that prohibits stock exchange trading with Bitcoin and other digital currencies, the Minister of Justice Park Sang-Ki announced. There is great concern about the virtual currencies. Trading them would amount to “speculation and gambling”, Park said. He warned that the bubble could burst and a lot of money would be lost.

Already in December it was announced that trade in South Korea would be limited to certain places in the future. In addition, capital gains from this are to be taxed in order to limit speculation.

Operators of South Korean crypto platforms have already reported investigations and searches by police and tax authorities. The investigators are said to have justified this with suspicions of tax evasion and other criminal activities.

Buffett warns of evil end

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese leadership had previously ordered a ban on Bitcoin prospectors. These provide high computing power in order to receive the coveted digital currency as a reward. The reason for this step was the concern about an impairment of the power supply – the generation of Bitcoin is extremely energy-intensive. China is considered the home of professional Bitcoin miners.

“This would have negative consequences for the crypto market, as large volumes are traded in South Korea,” said market analyst Milan Cutkovic of AxiTrader. Analyst Mun Chong-hyun of broker EST Security explained that trading would be more difficult in this case. “But many will then move to other countries such as Japan.”

Cyberdevisen are also receiving headwinds from the USA. According to insiders, the Senate wants to deal with their risks next month. An insider said that a survey of the SEC and the CFTC is planned for the beginning of February. Star investor Warren Buffett’s warning against crypto currencies also caused a sensation. Buffett had explained on Wednesday that he could almost say with certainty that it would come to a bad end.