Cryptocurrency prices steady with ripple bouncing back 30% after 'severe' sell-off

Cryptocurrency prices steady with ripple bouncing back 30% after 'severe' sell-off

Kerry Wise
January 20, 2018

The price of bitcoin, the world's biggest and best known cryptocurrency, fell to as low as $10,0000 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, the lowest since December 1. This price represented a huge drop of over 50% from its all-time high of nearly US$20,000 a few weeks ago.

Experts think that the selloff was triggered by the belief that China and South Korea - both key cryptocurrency markets - may soon enact restrictions that could detrimentally affect these markets.

Charles Hayter, chief executive of CryptoCompare, said many anticipated the cryptocurrency market to decline. Bulls say that bitcoin's boom is far from over, and that there's more to analyzing a market than just measuring price gains. Officials also are expected to debate the rise of bitcoin at the upcoming G20 summit, a meeting of the world's major economic powers, in Argentina in March. He told Reuters that the sharp change in value "is an expected, and important, part of the journey to becoming" an accepted asset.

The digital currency reached its highest level in December after the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission permitted trading in bitcoin futures.

Bitcoin has plummeted before.

Ripple's token XRP or ripple had a value of $1.57 a coin and then it went even lower to $90 cents.

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"The government's negative message helped bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lose their values globally", said Park Nok-sun, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

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.

But analysts said that the market would continue to be volatile as the South Korean and Chinese governments try to control the trade of virtual currencies.

"This bout of selling appears to have been sparked by a tightening of the regulatory noose on the wider cryptocurrency market. You have more regulatory uncertainty.and because of these falls you have these other outfalls". The digital currency has gained 69.2% in the past 24 hours, according to Coinmarketprice.

South Korea's Justice Minister Park Sang-ki recently proposed a trading ban and the government has put other controls into place in the face of what some see as a "cryptocurrency mania" in the country.