Bitcoin is up more than 8% Wednesday morning, mirroring the broader cryptocurrency market, after the South Korean government appeared to backpedal on its reported plans to ban crypto mining and exchanges in the country.
In a video posted to the presidential website Wednesday, South Korea’s minister of Governmental Policy Coordination, Hong Nam-ki, said the government would look at making cryptocurrency trading more transparent, instead of banning it outright, as previously feared, Bloomberg reported.
In January, news reports of a potential ban fueled selloffs that wiped out hundreds of billions of dollars of value from cryptocurrency markets around the world. Since then, more than 200,000 South Korean citizens signed an official government petition denouncing the proposed ban.
Bitcoin today remains the largest digital currency by market cap, and is now trading at $9,160 at the time of writing. That’s up more than 50% from its trough just below $6,000 on February 6. Bitcoin currently accounts for 35% of the total cryptocurrency market value, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
The total market value for cryptocurrencies is up 7% in the last 24 hours.
“The news today that South Korea will not ban cryptocurrencies outright has buoyed the market, following a period of negative news,” Iqbal Gandham, managing director of crypto platform eToro said in an email. “Rumours of regulatory clampdowns have worsened what is typically a bad time of the year for cryptos, but the tide is starting to turn – particularly with Singapore also ruling out a ban last week.”