Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

Gov't mulls shutting down all cryptocurrency exchanges: regulator

Gov't mulls shutting down all cryptocurrency exchanges: regulator

"Most people are buying bitcoin, not because of a belief in its future as a global currency, but because they expect it to rise in value", a note from economists at Capital Economics said Wednesday.

Fears of a regulatory crackdown have sent cryptocurrencies tumbling as investors rush to sell their coin. South Korea has since dispelled any rumors of an outright ban of cryptocurrency, but the damage to the market had already been done.

"A total of 1.96 million people may have used apps that allow them to handle digital currencies, such as bitcoin and ethereum, last week, up from 140,000 tallied between October 30 and November 5". The entire cryptocurrency market itself is in a slide, as values continue to drop by double-digit percentage figures.

An estate agent has warned about the pitfalls of permitting house sale transactions in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, as its value tumbled.

The numbers support this assertion: bitcoin prices surged by 2,000% over 12 months, peaking at nearly $20,000 per coin in December 2017. He said: "I would say the strong rally in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies we saw a year ago is over". However, the selloff intensified over the last two days, thanks to China and South Korea who announced to make tough regulations on cryptocurrency trading. Just recently, in mid-December, Bitcoin dropped from $19,000 to about $12,600, before climbing back up.

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This changed today with Ripple as well as all other cryptocurrencies registering double digit growths with Ripple leading the charts with a 70 per cent surge over Wednesday.

South Korea banned opening anonymous virtual currency accounts and put in place new laws giving authorities power to shut down digital currency exchanges.

Bitcoin is different from national currencies, which are supported by governments and central banks. The value of bitcoin crashed dramatically on January 17, falling below $10,000 for the first time in six weeks.

The market movements come just one month after the most valuable cryptocurrency bitcoin broke through the $20,000 mark in December. It's still sitting at almost 18 percent down since last week, according to Coinbase.

Investors may also have been spooked by Bitconnect's announcement that it was closing down its lending and exchange platform on Tuesday.

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