Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

South Korea mulls closing down virtual currency exchanges

South Korea crypto crackdown Japan Taiwan Singapore Vietnam China South Korea mulls closing down virtual currency exchanges
Nellie Chapman | 20 January, 2018, 04:04

Bitcoin at one point lost 30 percent of its value since Tuesday, and was half its record peak of nearly US$20,000 set on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange a month ago.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, bitcoin was traded at $11,750. The last time bitcoin more than halved in value was from November 2014 to January 2015.

Hong Nam-ki, minister of the office for government policy co-ordination, said that opinions on cryptocurrency trading are sharply divided within the government, but vowed to make a decision on regulations during Thursday's parliamentary session. Digital currencies are sold in South Korea at prices higher than the average global prices.

However, unlike as in other nations, it is not just the tech-savvy who have jumped on the Bitcoin cryptocurrency band-wagon, but ordinary workers, housewives and even children, many of whom would never trade traditional stocks.

Other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Ripple, have plunged, as well, as reports of South Korea and China potentially banning cryptocurrency trading sparked worries of a widespread regulatory crackdown.

Vice Governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) Pan Gongsheng, says regulators must do whatever it takes to ban businesses and individuals that provides a marketplace that guarantees the trading of Bitcoin.

On Wednesday morning Bitcoin fell and reached $9,199.59.

The rise comes with the Chicago Board Options Exchange saying that it plans to also look at offering other cryptocurrency futures, after first offering Bitcoin futures in early December.

Cryptocurrencies of all sizes got smoked this week, when a "bloodbath" of sell-offs wiped out roughly 43% of the world's total cryptocurrency market cap. Might that ending come sooner than we think?

The government has been striving to rein in the virtual currency frenzy in Asia's fourth-largest economy while contemplating a bill to ban cryptocurrency exchanges. On Thursday the ETH lifted to $1, 070.02, which means around 5% in 24 hours.

Vicky Redwood of Capital Economics, a global economic research firm, says that cryptocurrencies are only popular because the prices keep climbing.

"This is far from guaranteed given the existence of alternatives with better characteristics".