South Korea could consider shutting down all local cryptocurrency exchanges

South Korea could consider shutting down all local cryptocurrency exchanges

Ethereum, the second-largest digital currency by market cap, fell by more than 20% on January 16th, while ripple is hovering in the low $1.20s.

"The panic-selling seen across all the major cryptocurrencies could be attributed to a possible regulatory clampdown in South Korea with authorities threatening to place an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading", noted David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB.

Bitcoin prices took a sharp downturn on Wednesday due to fears of a crackdown from South Korea, falling below $10,000, half the price of its peak a month ago.

Longfin 1,342 percent in two days in December to a market value of more than $3 billion after buying a cryptocurrency company with no revenue.

The current rout in bitcoin and other digital currencies was a far cry from their dramatic run-up in 2017 when mainstream investors jumped on the bandwagon and as an explosion in so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs) - digital, token-based fundraising rounds - drove demand. CoinDesk tracks prices from cryptocurrency exchanges Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Bitfinex.

In early Wednesday trading, bitcoin dipped below $10,000 for the first time since early December. After a huge growth in value at the end of past year, there's been a drastic cryptocurrency crash, and the decline continues at a pretty rapid rate.

Bitcoin  US Dollar FX Chart Daily

South Korea's justice minister said last week the ministry was preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading, which sent bitcoin prices sharply lower and threw the market into turmoil.

Bitcoin is extremely hard to value because it has no country or central bank backing it and it's not widely used to make transactions.

"The volatility of bitcoin - and other cryptocurrencies - is an expected, and important, part of the journey to becoming a mature asset class". On Wednesday, bitcoin slid 18 percent.

The matter is now being reviewed by the country's government.

BCC has lost almost 20% of its value in just 24 hours, plunging as low as $1,408 per coin, giving the cryptocurrency a market cap of $24.195 billion, according to OnChainFX.

For cryptocurrency investors, it's been a rocky 24 hours. "This is far from guaranteed given the existence of alternatives with better characteristics".

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