The South Korean government has decided to set stricter regulations on virtual assets such as Bitcoin to tackle illegal activities in cryptocurrency markets.
Recently, nearly 2,500 people were charged with hiding large amounts of their assets in cryptocurrency to avoid paying taxes.
After the Financial Services Commission and related ministries held a meeting to discuss this issue on Friday the institute set new regulations to have financial companies closely monitor transactions when digital assets are sold.
The Financial Intelligence Unit, the country's anti-money-laundering agency, will be filing reports on suspicious transactions and these reports will be sent to the taxation authorities as soon as possible.
The police will also create new departments and supply them with more programs that can trace cryptocurrency transactions.
And the Finance Ministry said it will cooperate with the Financial Supervisory Service to strengthen inspections on illegal transactions.
Meanwhile, the market cap of "altcoins", which are cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin has increased this year to more than five times what it was worth at the end of 2020.
The Altcoin index on the country's service provider 'Upbit' topped 8,900 on Saturday, 5.2 times higher than its level on December 31st when it recorded 1,707.
Over in the U.S., the price of Bitcoin dropped over the weekend, falling as much as 19.5 percent after an unverified report on Twitter went viral on Saturday evening.
It claimed that the U.S. Treasury Department is looking to charge several financial institutes for money laundering using cryptocurrency citing unnamed sources.
After the message went viral, Bitcoin dropped as low as 52,148 U.S. dollars on Sunday morning after reaching an all-time high above 64,800 dollars on Wednesday.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.