There was a seismic reaction from the cryptocurrency market to news that the South Korean government is preparing a bill to ban local cryptocurrency exchanges sending major coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin tumbling earlier on Thursday before paring those losses.
Bitcoin had plunged 12% to $12,801 early on Thursday and at 15:00 GMT was down -1.57% at $14,009.40. Ethereum plunged -10.38% at $1,210.84. Bitcoin Cash fell -1.89% at $2,570.03 and Litecoin was down -1.81% at $238.86.
Ripple bucked the trend and was up +10.31% at $2.14 after MoneyGram said it will test XRP to see if it can move funds faster. MoneyGram International was up +4.42% at 10:25 EST in early trading.
Trying to curb speculation
The South Korean government’s push for onerous regulation comes as demand in South Korea is said to draw in college students to housewives raising worries about gambling addiction and to curb the speculative activity.
South Korea is an important market to digital currencies with demand as high as 30% depending on the cryptocurrency in question according to CNBC and they trade at a premium to other countries.
However, analysts note that the proposal is only one of many and still has a long way to go. Also as with China’s crackdown may not materialise in a manner expected. Market commentators suggest authorities may shift focus to regulation rather than a complete shutdown.
However, the impact will be felt by South Korean local exchanges, a few of which are being investigated by authorities according to Bloomberg.
CFD trading prices
- Bitcoin -5.50% at $14,866.45
- Ethereum -1.964% at $1,237.1
- Litecoin -4.422% at $246.26
- Ripple +9.502 at $1.9302