South Korea is reportedly preparing a bill to ban all cryptocurrency trading in the country. More than 10% of ethereum's trading volume is against the Korean Won. The bill would require a mjority vote of the 297 members of its National Assembly to pass - a process that could take months, if not years.
Cryptocurrency trading in South Korea is very speculative and similar to gambling. Major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum are priced significantly higher in the country's exchanges than elsewhere in the world. For example, bitcoin traded at $17,169.65 per token at local exchange Bithumb, which was a 31 percent premium to the CoinDesk average price. That difference in price is called a "kimchi premium" by many traders. In fact, earlier this week, industry data provider CoinMarketCap tweeted that it would exclude some South Korean exchanges in price calculations due to the "extreme divergence in prices from the rest of the world" and for "limited arbitrage opportunity." The exchanges that were removed from the price calculation included Bithumb, Korbit and Coinone.