South Korea aims to ban cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, as the frenzied trading of digital money among local investors has generated fears of speculation and financial crime.

Justice Minister Park Sang-ki on Thursday announced at a New Year's press conference that the government is preparing a special bill on banning transactions of cryptocurrency through exchanges.

Park said the Justice Ministry had been wary of digital money from the start and had repeatedly conveyed such concerns to other government ministries.

He said he couldn't disclose a specific schedule of when exchanges would be closed but added that the Justice Ministry and related ministries will devise and implement various measures leading to the closure of the exchanges.

The minister warned that cryptocurrency trading is "extremely dangerous" and nobody can tell when the bubble will burst. 

He pointed to the high premium on digital currencies in the South Korean market, saying that observers abroad have concluded such trading activities are abnormal.