South Korea's presidential office has clarified that the government has yet to decide whether or not it will shut down local cryptocurrency exchanges after Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said earlier in the day that the government intends to do so. 

In a message sent to reporters Thursday, Presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan acknowledged that banning cryptocurrency exchanges is one plan being prepared by the Justice Ministry. But he added that any future measures need to be discussed and coordinated with other ministries. 

Another official at the top office said the government needs to hear from other related ministries and agencies, noting their existing differences. For instance, the official said the Ministry of Science and ICT is keen to nurture cryptocurrency-related technologies. 

At a New Year's press conference on Thursday, Justice Minister Park said the government is preparing a special bill to ban cryptocurrency transactions as frenzied trading among local investors has generated fears of out-of-control speculation and financial crime.