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Bitcoin plummets after South Korea bans cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has plummeted after South Korea bans the trading of cryptocurrencies.

Due to fears of an impending global crackdown have made the cryptomarkets downward, with the price of Bitcoin dropping down to 20 per cent within 24 hours, the Metro reported.

In an interview with a local radio station, finance minister Kim Dong-yeon said: "There are no disagreements over regulating speculation.

"Shutting down digital currency exchanges is a live option but government ministries need to very seriously review it."

The virtual cash system peaked at a price of around $14,300 before dropping to $11,600 and last year, Bitcoin had a high of almost $20,000 before Christmas.

Rival payment system Ripple's value soared to more than $100 billion over the weekend, according to market monitors, and while it's still some way off the $231bn Bitcoin system, it's still making waves.

As reported by BBC, each Ripple coin is now worth around $2.34, which marks an impressive rise from the half a US cent they were worth 12 months ago.

The virtual system's valuation is higher than Ethereum - another popular crypto-currency - and it comes as the company has sought to position itself as a safe alternative through links to trusted financial institutions.

Ripple was created to help banks speed up the process of how they pay each other, with around 100 institutions - including Bank of America and UBS - amongst the customers signed up for the payments system.

The rise follows news over the weekend that three of Japan's big credit card businesses have jointed companies already signed up.

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