Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Tales from the crypto: South Korea frets over crackdown on virtual economy

Tales from the crypto: South Korea frets over crackdown on virtual economy

In the USA, the Securities and Exchange Commission asked at least 15 funds to pull applications this month for bitcoin-related exchange-traded funds.

Choi Heung Sik, the head of the Financial Supervisory Service of South Korea, responded in the affirmative when asked if employees of the financial regulator had sold their cryptocurrency stocks just before the agency publicly proposed measures against the industry, which caused cryptocurrency prices to drop.

Digital currency website Coinhills says South Korea is the third-biggest market for Bitcoin trades in the world, behind Japan and the U.S., and with over a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges.

Some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges are based in South Korea, with the country representing the world's third-biggest market for bitcoin trades, however it is unclear what exactly a government crackdown would involve.

On Thursday, the BOK governor said the central bank had begun looking into the market's impact on the economy. The cryptocurrency is up by a third this year, but has declined nearly $400 from this year's peak.

The cryptocurrency market is volatile, and while Bitcoin's value fell by around 30% this week, the dip is a relatively minor occurrence compared to its long-term trend.

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A spokesman said the banks withdrew funding from Carillion because of "viability", adding: "There are reasons the Carillion situation happened".

Ripple's token XRP or ripple had a value of $1.57 a coin and then it went even lower to $90 cents. The growth may not be as huge as the one of 2017 but more people in 2018 will have knowledge about Bitcoin that there was in 2017.

The digital currency world had dubbed it the face of the future and it was exactly such hubris that was making the bubble warnings from observers in the traditional finance grow louder each passing day.

The digital coin is still higher by nearly 1,000 percent from a year ago.

The event does portray an outpouring of funds from the cryptocurrency market, however, which may be due to a number of reasons. The country also plans to have a new law to ban cryptocurrency exchanges, thus effectively preventing trading in these currencies. "People are selling to try and get the hell out of there", said Charles Hayter, founder of Cryptocompare, which owns cryptocurrencies.

This is an opinion piece, and is not intended as investment advice.

The researchers added: 'This late 2017 campaign is a continuation of North Korea's interest in cryptocurrency, which we now know encompasses a broad range of activities including mining, ransomware, and outright theft'.

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