Things are looking up for investors in virtual currencies this year Still, there are lingering concerns of a bubble

with more than a million Koreans believed to hold at least some Bitcoin Top officials met to formulate ways to regulate that market Kim Hyesung gets us up to speed with the developments

The Korean government has announced a series of measures to curb speculation on cryptocurrencies amid what appears to be a speculative frenzy During an emergency meeting Wednesday, senior officials from various ministries, including justice, finance, and others agreed to crack down on cryptocurrency-related crimes such as hacking and illegal foreign exchange transactions The government is concerned that a cryptocurrency market bubble could cost people significant amount of money, so it said banks will have to thoroughly verify users' identities and make sure they conduct cryptocurrency transactions only with their own accounts Minors and foreigners will be banned from opening investment accounts On top of individuals, financial institutions will also be banned from buying and selling virtual currencies

They are also banned from raising money through bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, making Korea the second country after China to do so Such measures come amid the growing craze over bitcoin The virtual currency has been trading in Korea at a significant premium over prevailing international rates As for taxing cryptocurrency capital gains, government officials said they will announce details after discussing with experts through a taskforce team and refer to other countries' polices so as not to hinder the development of technologies like blockchain Kim Hyesung, Arirang News