South Korean news website Yonhap reported that Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon had told a local radio station that the government would be coming up with a set of measures to clamp down on the "irrational" cryptocurrency investment craze.
South Korea had said on Monday that its plans to ban virtual coin exchanges had not yet been finalised, as government agencies were still in talks to decide how to regulate the market.
Bitcoin slid on the latest news, trading as low as $11,191.59 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, down 18 percent on the day, on track to its steepest one-day fall in three years.
"It's mainly been regulatory issues which are haunting the cryptocurrency, with news around South Korea's further crackdown on trading the driver today," Think Markets chief strategist Naeem Aslam, told Reuters who holds what he described as "substantial" amounts of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.
2017 saw a massive rise in interest in cryptocurrencies with mainstream investors entered the market and as an explosion in so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs) - digital token-based fundraising rounds - drove demand for bitcoin and Ethereum, the second-biggest digital unit.
The latest slide leaves bitcoin down more than 40 percent from the record high around $20,000 it hit in mid-December.
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