Update (1050ET): Ripple crashed down over 30% after the initial headlines then exploded back higher... and Ethereum is now unchanged on the day...

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Amid headlines that South Korean regulators are inspecting 6 banks, including Industrial Bank of Korea, that provide virtual accounts to companies related to cryptocurrency, has sparked selling pressure across the entire space with Ripple down almost 20% today.

 

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Bloomberg reports that South Korea's Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku said in a speech text:

  • There’s high possibility cryptocurrency transactions could be used in money laundering.
  • South Korea to suspend virtual account- related operations of banks if they are found to have broken laws related to cryptocurrency.
  • Regulator also strengthen probe into cryptocurrency exchanges over price manipulation, money laundering, pyramid scheme.
  • Side effects of cryptocurrency "serious"; regulator will consider all measures including shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Cryptocurrency fever in S. Korea is much stronger than other countries; regulator won’t let S. Korea take the lead in abnormal cryptocurrency trading.

And the last few days have seen that Korean exuberance being smashed out of cryptos.

 

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Ethereum remains the YTD winner for now, but as is clear Ripple quickly went from hero to zero as the volatile trading continues.

Bitcoin is back below $15,000...

 

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Ethereum is holding above $1000 for now...

 

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and Ripple is testing significant support...

 

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As CoinTelegraph reports, as speculative investments into Bitcoin and altcoins continue to trouble regulators worldwide, Korea has taken a hardline stance in recent months.

New legislation will seek to place heavy restrictions on how cryptocurrency exchanges can operate in the country, as well as who can use them and to what extent.

South Koreans will likely only be able to hold one exchange account linked to their real name, while tax obligations are also being overhauled regarding profits.

Reporting on the inspection, Yonhap News Agency appeared to forecast a predatory climate for exchanges.

“They (the FIU and FSS) are seeking to cut off fund inflows into cryptocurrency exchanges and shutter cryptocurrency exchanges that have loopholes in their system,” it claims.

What these “loopholes” might entail remains vague, yet the security setup of principal exchanges has come into the spotlight following an organized hacking attempt by a Korean news agency.

Using private white-hat hackers, the agency successfully gained entry into exchange accounts it set up maliciously, bypassing even two-factor authentication, it reported last month.