South Korea potentially “banning” ICOs has unsettled markets Friday, as regulatory statements from earlier this month come back to haunt investors.

Comments from the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission published in local news outlet FN News Sept. 3 hints that it will be illegal to issue digital tokens later this year.

"It is almost a gamble," the publication quotes an official as saying.

"If there is an unlawful act, a third party has to intervene, but it is difficult to intervene until the transaction volume or price soars."

South Korea had issued strong warnings regarding ICOs around the time China announced its own full ban on the practice.

As such, some commentators are now saying the negative outlook was effectively priced into the market.

Bitcoin had lost around 3.7 percent in the 24 hours to press time Friday, coming off multi-week highs to retest support at $4000.

In December meanwhile, more stringent identification of virtual currency holders who convert funds to fiat will come into being, with the onus on businesses to ensure they can identify customers behind the conversions.

Banks will also monitor “unusual” cashflow events.

“We will start the transaction by confirming the identity of the bank and monitoring the flow of funds,” the official continued.

“It will facilitate tracking of funds … and provide a basis for preventing money laundering such as suspicious transaction reports."