Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are falling-but don't worry just yet

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are falling-but don't worry just yet

South Korea's financial authorities have been stepping up monitoring of cryptocurrency trades amid concerns that a bubble may be set to burst.

Following these reports, the price of bitcoin - which was nearly at $15,200 a week ago - was struggling to stay above $13,000 Tuesday morning, after falling to a low of below $12,800, according to prices compiled by Coindesk.

Coinbase is the leading US marketplace for trading bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash.

Ethereum, meanwhile, experienced a 20 percent plunge to a low of around $1,096.

The bitcoin spot price recently was down 14% to $11,675, according to CoinDesk data.

"Bitcoin has dropped below $12,000, a level not seen since early December". In China and South Korea, in particular, initial coin offerings have rapidly become part of the local, and very popular, gambling culture.

The South Korean government is looking at ways to regulate the cryptocurrency market, crypto exchanges included.

In fact, at their low point on the day, many cryptocurrencies with large market caps saw their prices essentially halved. According to Coinmarketcap.com, a site that is quickly becoming the go-to price checker, just one of the top 100 highest valued cryptocurrencies isn't in the red over the past 24 hours.

South Korea's proposed ban on cryptocurrency trading has been shaking the digital currency markets with Bitcoin and Ripple taking the brunt of a massive new sell-off.

The report by Bloomberg caused a massive sell off and decline in prices of bitcoin, ethereum, ripple and nearly all other cryptocurrencies out there being actively traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Korea Exchange, the operator of the domestic stock market, sent all its employees text messages Friday, calling on them to refrain from trading in cryptocurrencies.

However, small peer-to-peer payment systems are not being targeted.

Bitcoin isn't the only cryptocurrency in troubled waters, however.

"China is said to be targeting websites and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, in a bid to block access to platforms that deliver centralised trading on cryptocurrencies".

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