Major cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ripple and ethereum took a hammering Thursday following the news that South Korea could be preparing to ban trading in digital coins. At 7:25 a.m. London time, bitcoin was down nearly 6 percent, while ethereum fell over 11 percent and ripple took a 9 percent tumble, versus their price a day ago, according to data from

Many of those coins began to pare losses later in the morning. Ripple was up nearly a tenth of a percent by 8:10 a.m. London time.

South Korean Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said Thursday that the ministry is “basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges.” At around 4.50 a.m. London time, a few minutes after news, over $106 billion of value was wiped off of the entire cryptocurrency market when compared to the market capitalization at the beginning of the day on Thursday.

It has since pared some of those losses. This fall in prices comes after two major cryptocurrencies hit record highs.

Ripple hit an all-time high of $3.84 on January 4. It has fallen over 50 percent since then as of 8:00 a.m. London time on Thursday. Read more from…

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