Other cryptocurrencies have followed the pattern: Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin cash have all lost a quarter of their value over the last day.
All of this frenetic activity likely overburdened Coinbase’s services — something it might better account for going forward: New currencies are inherently unstable, and the today’s cryptocurrencies will be swinging up and down for quite some time.
Move comes less than two weeks after high-profile digital currency exchange in Seoul was hacked and went bankrupt
Bitcoin plunged by more than $1,000 (740) on Thursday after South Korea said it was planning a crackdown on trading in the digital currency in the latest of a string of warnings for investors.
It dropped to about $13,500 after trading at about $15,400 on Wednesday. The dip was seen as a further illustration of bitcoins volatility.
The cryptocurrency has surged in value this year by more than 900%, becoming one of the biggest stories in finance amid a slew of warnings of a pending market crash.
Bitcoin recovered ground later on Thursday and was trading at about $14,000 at 5.30pm UK time.
South Korea, which is one of the biggest markets in the world for bitcoin, said it was preparing a ban on opening anonymous cryptocurrency accounts and new legislation to enable regulators to close coin exchanges if they felt there was a need to do so.
According to Reuters, the South Korean government issued a statement saying it had warned several times that virtual coins cannot play a role as actual currency and could result in high losses due to excessive volatility.
The move came less than two weeks after the high-profile insolvency of one of the countrys digital currency exchanges, after the Seoul-based platform was hit by hackers for a second time.
The crackdown in South Korea comes amid repeat warnings from leading figures in finance and some of the worlds top economists, who have said the currency is a vehicle for fraudsters and drug dealers. There are also fears that its rapid increase in value this year could quickly unwind, causing severe losses for investors.
However, several leading academics have said bitcoin poses no threat to the stability of the financial system, as its total value stands at about $240bn, paling in comparison with the total value of global shares at almost $80tn.
Companies are also exploring ways to exploit blockchain which is the technology underpinning bitcoin and works by securely encrypting information to speed up everything in business from making payments to transferring data and contracts.
Bitcoin rose to nearly $20,000 a week before Christmas, following the introduction of derivatives trading for major investment firms on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which enabled hedge funds to place bets on future prices. However, it then lost 25% of its value on 22 December, before recovering earlier this week and then slumping again on Thursday.
While some have said more investors in the market could help support higher valuations, the currency is on a jittery run.
Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at trading firm Oanda, said the recent fall in value could have made speculators more wary of the potentially negative news from Korea for its market price.
We saw plenty of this in reverse on the way up, with positive news triggering significant rises and negative news being brushed aside. It wouldnt surprise me if we see prices heading back below $10,000 before they find their feet again, he said.
Digital currencies have grabbed the attention of global regulators this year as a consequence of bitcoins rapid price growth, gaining in value from about $1,000 at the beginning of 2017. Other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin have also gained in value this year.
Closer control of digital currencies by financial watchdogs could result in further volatility for bitcoin, as part of its attraction among supporters has been the lack of government and central bank oversight.
The UKs Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning about investing in initial coin offerings, which use digital tokens to raise funds for startup businesses and projects.
Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap (behind Bitcoin), is currently trading at $707, a 20% increase in the last 24 hours.
This is a new record for Ethereum, which has kept pace with Bitcoin for the better part of the year but started falling behind sometime in the summer. Bitcoin’s price grew tremendously in the second part of the year. One bitcoin is currently worth $17,176.
Ethereum’s market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap, is currently $66.5 billion.
Besides being a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, Ethereum has fairly little to do with Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is primarily a payment system, Ethereum is a platform for decentralized apps running on its blockchain.
Ethereum’s platform ushered in a completely new breed of startups that raised funds via initial coin offering or ICO events. Participants exchange Ethereum for new digital tokens created on the Ethereum blockchain. ICOs raised more than $1.24 billion in the third quarter of 2017, according to CoinDesk.
Most recently, Ethereum has been in the news due to a popular game called CryptoKitties, which lets users collect and trade digital kittens stored on Ethereum’s blockchain.
How do I politely tell my finance professor that 8% stock returns are boring when I’m making a 43.6% return on Ethereum without getting a lecture about crypto currency volatility😁 pic.twitter.com/zfInKlNJvR
Looking at price alone, Ethereum’s growth has been even more impressive than Bitcoin’s this year. The cryptocurrency was trading for about $8.3 in January; its current price represents a 8,500% increase.
Ethereum might be rising due to recent comments by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, who published a statement on Monday warning about the dangers of ICOs, which are largely unregulated. He also said that some digital tokens traded in ICOs aren’t securities and do not fall under SEC’s jurisdiction.
Numerous other cryptocurrencies continue yesterday’s rally, most notably, the banking-oriented Ripple, which grew by 73% in the last 24 hours and now has a market cap of $18 billion.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH, as well as a swiftly rising number of digital kittens.
Cryptocurrencys year-end rally fails as its investors are finally introduced to the law of financial gravity
Bitcoin lost more than a quarter of its value on Friday as an analyst warned that investors in the cryptocurrency had finally been introduced to the law of financial gravity.
In the latest illustration of bitcoins volatility, it slumped to below $11,500 at one point on Friday touching $11,159 having started the week at a record high close to $20,000 and in its biggest weekly fall since 2013. However, by 5pm London time it was trading at $12,800 as the currency endured a see-saw day.
Bitcoin trades on a number of exchanges and one, Coinbase, was reported to have suspended transactions temporarily while there was also a temporary halt of the new futures contract which allows investors to take bets on the value of the digital currency at a predetermined point in the future on the Chicago Board Options Exchange while it waited for the price to stabilised.
Two futures contracts have been launched this month, which were regarded as taking a step towards legitimising digital currencies at a time when regulators are stepping up their surveillance of products linked to the new technology.
Fridays slump was said to have been fuelled by the founder of another cryptocurrency selling his holdings. Charlie Lee, founder of Litecoin, said he was selling his holdings to avoid a conflict of interest that he faces when talking about the price of the currency which could appear to benefit him.
Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, said this decision was probably the root-cause of the insecurity thats been felt across the cryptocurrency space.
Bitcoin investors were introduced to the law of gravity over the last 24 hours Long term holders will be used to this level of volatility but newer crypto traders could be permanently put off, said Lawler.
The exponential price rise seen recently needs new investors to sustain it. In a bubble market its known as the bigger fool theory; you can buy high as long as there is a fool willing to buy it off you even higher, he added.
Charles Hayter, founder and chief executive of industry website CryptoCompare, said: A manic upward swing led by the herd will be followed by a downturn as the emotional sentiment changes. A lot of traders have been waiting for this large correction.
Analysts said the dramatic moves in the runup to the end of 2017 meant that it was difficult to predict what would happen in the new year when trading volumes are expected to rise.
Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at financial firm FXTM, said: The aggressively bearish price action witnessed this week may prompt investors to start questioning if bitcoin will recover from the selloff or remain depressed moving into the new year.
Regulators have been sounding a cautious note about bitcoin, which is not regulated and is controlled by a network of computers that update all transactions which take place on a variety of trading platforms around the world. It only exists digitally and is mined using mathematical equations.
Blockchain poses as big a threat to banks as Facebook and Amazon did to conventional media firms
Humanitys earliest, truly transformative general purpose technologies were the ability to cross-fertilise plants and cross-breed animals. Suddenly, it made more sense to farm than to hunt and gather. The surge in agricultural output meant humans could do other things than worry about survival; they could live in cities. Human civilisation began.
The story of the subsequent millennia has been how some 30 general-purpose technologies of equal power, ranging from the printing press to the steam engine, have driven similar leaps in transforming our economy, our lives and our civilisation. Today, we are living through another.
Digitisation is, if anything, even more powerful: it is a meta general-purpose technology. No area of human activity will be left untouched by the translation of the physical into digital data. Already, it has created astonishing new capacities: the chances are that you are reading this on a smartphone or tablet. But the adventure is only just beginning. Everything from banking to health is about to experience similar transformations.
Last week, the growing impact of blockchain and the price of one of the crypto-currencies it underwrites bitcoin hit the front pages. Regulators stopped the US stock market trading in the Crypto Company (a tiny penny stock whose main asset is its name) after its shares jumped 2,000%, so that it briefly, and stunningly, joined the Fortune 500 with a value of $12bn. As extraordinary, when the Long Island Iced Tea Corp yet to make a profit announced that it was changing its name to Long Blockchain Corp, its shares jumped 500%. The price of bitcoin itself $1,000 at the start of the year briefly hit $19,000 per coin last week before falling to $11,000 and then recovering to $14,000 yesterday. A crazy wildness, emulating every financial bubble in history, has settled on US investors.
But bubbles dont come out of nowhere. Peoples animal spirits are sparked by something real that collectively captures their imagination: blockchain and crypto-currencies are that something. Blockchain is a foundational digital technology that rivals the internet in its potential for transformation. To explain: essentially, blocks are segregated, vast bundles of data in permanent communication with each other so that each block knows what the content is in the rest of the chain. However, only the owner of a particular block has the digital key to access it.
So what? First, the blocks are created by miners, individual algorithm writers and companies throughout the world (with a dense concentration in China), who want to add a data block to the chain. There is no government or central direction; no permission is needed to create a block and unless the law is broken, no government, regulator or police authority can close the block down.
Just as the web once promised freedom, so does blockchain. The chain is self-policing. Anyone who attempts to launch an exchange of data outside the protocols of the chain will immediately be spotted by the other blocks and the exchange will be aborted. Suddenly, the world has acquired a system for the fast, trusted exchange of vast amounts of data without intermediaries or supervision.
In the way that Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google (the Fangs) replaced conventional media and communication companies, that prospect faces banks, insurance companies and many public services. Our health data can be given to the whole chain for it to assess, rather than an individual doctor, and the chain can then assess and price an insurable risk. No intermediary is safe. No wonder investors are salivating at the prospect of old, analogue organisations being driven out of business and mega fortunes being made by the companies replacing them, perhaps by the Crypto Company or Long Blockchain Corp. If you had bought Facebook 13 years ago you would now be very rich.
Because theyre identical twins? Yup. You might remember them from The Social Network in 2010.
Vaguely. So theyre actors, are they? No. Theyre venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. In 2008, they rowed for the US at the Beijing Olympics, finishing sixth. In the film, Armie Hammer played both of them as a kind of two-man master race. As one of them put it in a memorable line of dialogue, Im 6ft 5, 220 pounds and theres two of me.
Nice. But why make a film about them? Because they were at Harvard with Mark Zuckerberg, who they later sued, claiming he stole their idea for a website that they called Harvard Connection, but which he called the Facebook. (Dramatic music.)
And did he? Steal the idea, I mean? Oh, God, thats just too complicated to get into. The Winklevii launched numerous lawsuits about it, and got about $65m (48m) worth of Facebook stock, which wasnt much at the time.
Bitcoin. Theres a word I dont understand. Its a crypto-currency.
Theres another one. Think of it as an electronic token, which can be owned and traded. Like normal money, it has value because other people consider it valuable. The number of bitcoins in circulation is strictly controlled by a clever bit of software that nobody can hack, called the blockchain.
Thank you. And the Winklevoss twins like having lots of bitcoins, do they? Im sure they do at the moment. In March 2013, they bought about 100,000 of them, when each coin was worth roughly $120. After a strong year, and a wild couple of weeks, each bitcoin is now worth lets see $11,826.
Holy moly! Thats right. Not counting the value of their other investments, the Winklevoss twins have just become the worlds first bitcoin billionaires. Apart from Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoins mysterious inventor, of course.
Cryptocurrency close to record high despite news Treasury plans to end traders anonymity
The UK and other EU governments are planning a crackdown on bitcoin amid growing concerns that the digital currency is being used for money laundering and tax evasion.
The Treasury plans to regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to bring them in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial legislation. Traders will be forced to disclose their identities, ending the anonymity that has made the currency attractive for drug dealing and other illegal activities.
Under the EU-wide plan, online platforms where bitcoins are traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions. The UK government is negotiating amendments to the anti-money-laundering directive to ensure firms activities are overseen by national authorities.
The Treasury said: We are working to address concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies by negotiating to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and some wallet providers within anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.
The rules are expected to come into effect in the next few months. The Treasury said digital currencies could be used to enable and facilitate cybercrime. It added: There is little current evidence of them being used to launder money, though this risk is expected to grow.
Bitcoin was trading at $11,566 on Monday. It hit a fresh record high of $11,800 on Sunday but fell to $10,554 on news of the regulatory crackdown.
The Labour MP John Mann, a member of the House of Commons Treasury select committee, suggested MPs would look into the regulation of virtual currencies.
He told the Daily Telegraph: These new forms of exchange are expanding rapidly and weve got to make sure we dont get left behind thats particularly important in terms of money laundering, terrorism or pure theft.
It would be timely to have a proper look at what this means. It may be that we want speed up our use of these kinds of thing in this country, but that makes it all the more important that we dont have a regulatory lag.
Stephen Barclay, the economic secretary to the Treasury, set out the governments plans in a written parliamentary answer in October. The UK government is currently negotiating amendments to the anti-money-laundering directive that will bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation, which will result in these firms activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas.
The government supports the intention behind these amendments. We expect these negotiations to conclude at EU level in late 2017 or early 2018.
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Bitcoin’s price has risen stratospherically, a fact that leaves many minor players in the market with massive gains and many bigger players millionaires. But is this a bubble? Are the gains real? And are the bitcoin whales in for a sad Christmas?
First we must understand what drives bitcoin price and, in particular, this boom. The common understanding for current growth leads us back to institutional investors preparing for the forthcoming BTC futures exchanges.
The primary theory about the astonishing rally being put forward by investors on social media is that bitcoin will soon benefit from big institutional money injections via the introduction of the first BTC futures products. CBOE Global Markets and CME Group are launching new futures contracts on December 10 and December 17, allowing investors to go long or short on bitcoin. This ability makes bitcoin far more palatable to big investors who are currently flooding the market to make profits if and when the bitcoin price falls.
This move also legitimizes bitcoin in Wall Street’s eyes, an important point considering cryptocurrencies are still suspect.
Further growth comes from the “bitcoin as a store of value” crowd. This group of enthusiasts bought and held bitcoin and will not sell it at any current price. More and more bitcoin fans are entering into this group and they are driving up demand increases. In a world where people expect bitcoin to be worth $1 million soon this sort of activity – whether rational or irrational – is quite popular.
We see a common thread between these points: hype and news. All cryptocurrency movements are based on domain specific media and conversations between traders. Bitcoin traders, it can be said, are now akin to the jolly colonists selling stocks under buttonwood tree. This small but influential market is prone to panics based on a single tweet and users work together to at least bolster themselves with cries of “HODL!” The market is so nascent that there are no dark pools, no popular algorithmic trading systems, and no real way to automate your buying and selling activities (although, without futures, there was never a need to). That is all coming and at that point the market will harden itself against panics and booms. Until then we enjoy rises and dips and volatility that puts most bitcoin dilettantes off their lunch.
Ultimately new and old users are testing the limits of a system that, for a decade, has been untested. The futures market will be a big driver in growth and bust over the next few months as institutional investors begin using the currency. CoinDesk writer Omkar Godbole notes that the price should remain stable but “a pullback to $11,000 cannot be ruled out, but dips below the upward sloping 10-day MA of $11,500 are likely to be short-lived.”
“As of now, a significant correction is unlikely and could be seen only on confirmation of a bearish price-RSI divergence and/or if RSI and stochastic move lower from the overbought territory,” he wrote.
Is this dangerous? Yes, to those who are betting big on BTC. Again, I cannot tell you whether to buy or sell but the common expectation is that bitcoin raises to a set point and then fluctuates between a high and a low until the next run up. Many expect foul play.
“The current price isn’t truly driven by demand. When CME Group went live with Bitcoin futures we saw a sharp increase in demand and an increased number of users in the network,” said Matthew Unger, CEO and Founder of iComplyICO. “Now, some institutional major players are flooding the network with new cash and creating what appears to be market manipulation. Now that Bitcoin futures are available it is easy to buy into futures market first and then create a massive number of buys or sells of Bitcoin to ensure the price swings in favour of your futures contract.”
“In many jurisdictions, Bitcoin has yet to become subject to regulations, leaving an investor with no recourse or protection from fraud or market manipulation,” said Unger.
Is this a bubble? Many are disappointed in the moves, believing the rise is happening because of market manipulation. But we must remember that the real value of a cryptocurrency is not driven by price but instead is driven by utility. While bitcoin may always be the proverbial hidden pot of gold for early buyers the future of all cryptocurrencies is still being written. Just as, in 1994, no one could have predicted the prevalence and value of open source projects like Linux and Apache, no one can currently predict what bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will do for us in the future. Until we know, it’s best to buckle up and enjoy the ride.
CEO Lloyd Blankfein attacks cryptocurrency after worth dives 20% in a day, stating bank will not get included till it ends up being less unpredictable
The employer of Goldman Sachs ended up being the current prominent critic of bitcoin, declaring it was a lorry to dedicate scams as the worth of the cryptocurrency plunged 20% in less than 24 hours.
Lloyd Blankfein , president of the United States financial investment bank, stated: “Something that moves 20% [over night] does not feel like a currency. It is a lorry to commit scams.”
His remarks came throughout another hugely unpredictable trading session for the digital currency, which plunged by over $2,000 in a 24-hour duration. Having actually topped $11,000 to reach a brand-new record high of $11,395 on Wednesday, it was up to a low of $9,000 on Thursday, prior to getting a little later on in the day.
Blankfein stated Goldman did not have to have a bitcoin technique, including the digital currency would have to be a lot less unpredictable and a lot more liquid to validate closer attention.
“When do I need to have a bitcoin technique? Not today. Life needs to be truly rosy if that is exactly what we are discussing,” he stated. “Bitcoin is not for me. A great deal of things that have actually not been for me in the previous 20 years have actually exercised, however I am not thinking that this will exercise.”
Blankfein is the current manager of a significant bank to voice scepticism about bitcoin, after JP Morgan’s president, Jamie Dimon, explained it as scams that would eventually explode and stated it was just suitable for usage by drug killers, individuals and dealerships residing in locations such as North Korea.
On Wednesday, Sir Jon Cunliffe, a deputy guv of the Bank of England, stated the digital currency was too little to position a systemic risk to the international economy. He likewise warned that bitcoin financiers required “to do their research”.
Despite the fall in bitcoin’s worth on Thursday, it stayed far greater than it was at the start of 2017, when it was trading at $998. It is the greatest gainer of all possession classes this year, triggering sceptics to state it a timeless speculative bubble that might break.
Banks and other banks stay worried about bitcoin’s early associations with cash laundering and online criminal offense. Unlike conventional currencies, bitcoin is not released or managed by a reserve bank or federal government.
Lee Wild, head of equity method at online trading business Interactive Investor, stated the volatility in bitcoin trading was “wild west things”.
“Cryptocurrency land’s severe volatility resembles catnip to high-risk traders, as well as standard financiers are dipping their toe. Provided there’s no rational method to value them with any precision, this stays wild west things.”
Analysts at the spread wagering company, City Index, stated: “While standard properties are experiencing traditionally low levels of volatility, the whipsaw action of the bitcoin is drawing the attention of standard traders. Existing beginners and traders are significantly interested in worry of missing out on out.”
The value of cryptocurrencies is rising fast. But is it sustainable? And how does it work, anyway? These questions, and many more, answered
The money has become too much to ignore and so bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are back in the news. You may have heard about Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that has risen in value by more than 2,500% over the course of 2017. Or maybe youve heard about one ofthe many smaller cryptocurrenciesthat raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the first few days they were on sale, during their initial coin offering. Or youve just spotted that bitcoin, which made headlines in 2013 for hitting a high of $200, is now worth nearly $7,000 (5,250), making a lot of people very rich in the process.
Are these cryptocurrencies simply speculative bubbles or will they actually transform our financial system? Its time to answer afew common questions about this new technology and assess whether a lot of people have just pulled off the investment of their lifetime or made a hugemistake.
What actually is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, the first and still the biggest example of its type. At its core, its a new form of digital asset, created through a cannycombination of encryption (the same technology that protects WhatsApp from eavesdropping) and peer-to-peernetworking (which allowed music piracy to blossom in the 00s through services such asKazaa).
If you own a bitcoin, what you actually control is a secret digital key you can use to prove to anyone on the network that a certain amount of bitcoin is yours.
If you spend that bitcoin, you tell the entire network that you have transferred ownership of it and use the same key to prove that you are really you. In that respect, your key is similar to a password that allows you access to your money, except with no possibility of resetting your key if you lose it. Anyone else who manages to discover your key would gain total, irreversible control over your cash. The history of all the transactions made is a lasting record of who ownswhich bitcoin: that record is called theblockchain.
What are its advantages over money created by central banks?
Bitcoin advocates will point to a number of possible advantages, from the ability to use the blockchain to track things other than simple money to the built-in support for smart contracts, which execute automatically when certain conditions are met.
But the biggest advantage, and the only one everybody agrees on, is that bitcoin is decentralised and so extremely resistant to censorship.
Although its possible to observe a bitcoin payment in process, its not practicably possible to stop it. That makes it radically different from conventional banking, where banks can, and do, intervene to freeze accounts, vet payments for money laundering or enforce regulations. That has made it a haven for activities from cybercrime and drug trading to enabling international payments to closed economies and supporting radically off-grid living.