Bitcoin falls $1,000 after South Korea promises crackdown on trading

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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.


What is bitcoin and is it a bad investment?

Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, “cryptocurrency” a decentralised tradable digital asset. Whether it is a bad investment is the big question. Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate uses. The lack of any central authority makes bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, corruption or regulation. That means it has attracted a range of backers, from libertarian monetarists who enjoy the idea of a currency with no inflation and no central bank, to drug dealers who like the fact that it is hard (but not impossible) to trace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person.

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.

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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 exchange, called Youbit, shut down after losing 17% of its assets in a cyber-attack which was later blamed on North Korean hackers. The incident followed several other attacks against cryptocurrency platforms, such as a hack earlier in the month against the cryptomining marketplace NiceHash, which lost about 4,700 bitcoins in the attack.

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.

Sir Howard Davies, who chairs RBS, has likened investing in bitcoin to Dantes Inferno Abandon hope all ye who enter here while Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan, has said bitcoin could potentially be worse than the tulip mania of the 17th century, when bulb prices rose vertiginously before crashing.

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.

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Bitcoin loses a quarter of its value in one day’s trading

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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.

It is a sudden reversal of bitcoins upward trajectory this year, having started 2017 at $966, and sparked warnings that investors need to beware that they are not risking a rerun of the 17th century tulip bubble.

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.

Sir Howard Davies, chairman of RBS, has likened investing in bitcoin to Dantes Inferno Abandon hope all ye who enter here while Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan, has talked about bitcoin as being worse than tulip mania, which took place in the Netherlands in the 1630s, when bulb prices reportedly rose more than 1,000% in a month.

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.

While the Bank of England has said it is not a risk to financial stability, governor Mark Carney told MPs this week that he expected international regulators will discuss cryptocurrencies and the potential future role of central bank digital currencies.

The Financial Conduct Authority has issued warnings about initial coin offerings (ICOs) which use cryptocurrencies to raise funds for startup businesses. Investors in ICOs pay in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and receive a coin in return, rather than shares in the company.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, has said bitcoin is not a really currency but more like a commodity.

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Bitcoin is a vehicle for fraudsters, warns Goldman Sachs boss

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.”

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Bitcoin is the very first, and the most significant,”cryptocurrency “– a decentralised tradable digital possession. Whether it’s a bad financial investment is the$ 97bn concern(actually, because that’s the existing worth of all bitcoins out there). Bitcoin can just be utilized as a circulating medium and in practice has actually been much more crucial for the dark economy than it has for a lot of genuine usages. The absence of any main authority makes bitcoin extremely resistant to censorship, corruption– or policy. That suggests it has actually brought in a variety of backers, from libertarian monetarists who take pleasure in the concept of a currency without any inflation and no reserve bank, to drug dealerships who like that it’s tough(however possible)to trace a bitcoin deal back to a physical individual.

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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.”

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The Key Differences Between Bitcoin And Other Currencies

One of the growing financial trends for individuals is to denominate a small part of their money in the digital crypto-currency called Bitcoin, for a number of strategic benefits such as having a store of value and a medium of exchange that is not susceptible to inflationary measures imposed by central banks. The Bitcoin digital currency itself is highly decentralized because it relies on a peer-to-peer communications network called the Bitcoin network in order to process orders and verify purchases.

Bitcoin: A Decentralized Digital Currency

It is important to remember that money itself is nothing more than a medium of exchange, and for most of modern history this medium of exchange has been enforced and controlled by central banks, national banks, and automated clearing house institutions. Because of this fact, most currencies have been slowly inflated and devalued as the government and central bank add to the amount of currency in circulation, therefore decreasing the value of each individual currency unit.

The reason Bitcoin is different is that it is not offered to the market by any specific company or bank, but instead it is based on a public key encryption algorithm which has been released on an open source basis. Instead of the need for a regular bank or automated clearing house to process and verify transactions and purchases, all Bitcoin transactions are calculated using advanced mathematical equations across a global network of computers that are connected on a peer-to-peer basis. This means that the mechanism behind processing transactions is inherently decentralized and therefore it is difficult to control or regulate by governments, and also not susceptible to inflationary market pressures.

Is Bitcoin A Safe Investment For Individuals?

There are both positive and negative aspects of government regulation, with the positive aspect being that these regulations will tend to protect consumers from industry insiders and scammers, and the negative side being an increased amount of pressure and control from a centralized authority. As long as the individual investor is willing to take the time to educate themselves about what Bitcoins are and how to protect their digital wallet, many are choosing to allocate a small part of their money in the form of Bitcoins.

Another risk associated with Bitcoins is the high volatility in the exchange rate between US dollars and Bitcoins, but many people are prepared to tolerate this change in market price in order to have their money denominated in currency units that are not controlled by a centralized institution. Bitcoins are becoming more widely accepted and are entering into the early adoption phase for individuals and technology pioneers alike, and by doing proper research you can decide if owning Bitcoins is appropriate for your personal finances.

Discover the money making secrets of Bitcoin power users by clicking on Bitcoin Secrets.

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