Investing.com - The price of digital currency bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies fell sharply on Tuesday as South Korea’s government intensified measures to crack down on digital currency trading.
Bitcoin was trading at $10,449 by 04:52 AM ET (09:52 AM GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, after falling as low as $10,141 earlier.
Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was last at $958 on the Bitfinex exchange, after falling through the psychologically important $1,000 level.
Meanwhile, Ripple's XRP token was trading at $1.25 on the Poloniex exchange, a drop of around 9%.
Cryptocurrencies came under renewed selling pressure after regulators in South Korea said the government will ban the use of anonymous bank accounts in cryptocurrency trading from Jan. 30.
Last month, the government banned the opening of new virtual accounts for cryptocurrency investors and required virtual currency traders to change their virtual accounts to real-name ones.
South Korea’s Yohnap news agency reported Sunday that the government plans to require cryptocurrency exchanges to share users' transaction data with banks as part of a clampdown on cryptocurrency trading.
Banks are expected to introduce the system, which will be a “measure of tax enforcement,” late this month or early next month, the report said, citing a single unnamed financial authority official.
Another report by Yohnap on Monday said the government will impose a tax of up to 24.2% of corporate and local income taxes from cryptocurrency exchanges this year.
South Korea’s government is examining multiple options for cracking down on cryptocurrency trading, including a blanket shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges and a closure of only the ones acting illegally.
Cryptocurrency trading in South Korea is highly speculative and digital currencies are often traded at a premium, meaning that they are priced significantly higher in the country's exchanges than elsewhere in the world. The country is one is one of the largest markets for major coins like bitcoin and ethereum.