Bitcoin and all other cryptos plunge as regulation looms

Regulators across the globe, in countries including China, India, Brazil and South Korea, have been warning investors about the risks of trading in cryptocurrencies.

South Korea's government announced that it may still go on to ban the trading of cryptocurrencies on exchanges, following apparently conflicting reports on the matter days earlier.

"Effective regulation of virtual currencies would therefore only be achievable through the greatest possible global cooperation, because the regulatory power of nation states is obviously limited", Wuermeling told an event in Frankfurt.

Up until early past year, China was the most active market for bitcoin trading on exchanges.

Small peer-to-peer transactions are not being targeted, they said. Young people are generally more interested in buying and selling digital currencies than their elders.

Last week, the justice minister's remark that the country will ban bitcoin and other digital currencies triggered big sell-offs and a public outcry.

Bitcoin has been under the radar ever since the start of the years; its prices managed to peak at the $20,000 mark but faltered after due to massive conundrums in the market. In the process, and with tokens trading for more than $3 each, ripple catapulted past ethereum to become the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

The craze has gotten out of hand in South Korea that The Korean Exchange notified its employees on Friday telling them to refrain from investing into the cryptocurrency market.

The value of bitcoin was seen to recover on Monday, that trading 1.19 % higher at $13,781.49 a coin. According to a Reuters report, published today, PBOC Vice Governor Pan Gongsheng has said that the government should ban venues that provide centralised trading, as well as individuals and businesses that provide related services, such as online wallet providers, individual or institutional market-makers and guarantors.

In September the rapid rise in bitcoin's value led the vice-president of the European Central Bank Vitor Constancio to compare it to the "tulipmania" of the 17th century, generally considered the first speculative bubble.

"Explaining moves in bitcoin is always tricky but this plunge ... may well be a result of recent signs that regulatory pressures are building", said Neil Wilson, analyst for ETX Capital, as several countries, notably China and South Korea, target a crackdown.

At the start of 2017 each bitcoin was worth $1,000 (£725) but its price soared over the course of the year, reaching almost $20,000 (£14,500) by the end of the year.

  • Zachary Reyes