Old hands in South Korea Bitcoin market unfazed by threats of ban

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With South Korea being the third biggest market for bitcoin, the regulatory plans have caused some investors to sell in anticipation of further share price drops.

"Regulators around the world are still debating how to address risks posed by cryptocurrencies, as bitcoin, the world's most popular virtual currency, soared more than 1,700 percent previous year".

Bitcoin, which enjoyed first-mover advantage and remains the poster child of crypto, peaked at $20,042.90 on 17 December and dipped as low as $9,402.29 yesterday, which equates to a fall of 53.1%.

A petition to the Blue House, South Korea's presidential residence, demanding a stop to regulating virtual currency has reached 200,000 signatures and will now get an official response.

Just before the New Year, the Korean government said it planned to bar banks from offering anonymous Bitcoin accounts, requiring transactions to name participants. China has already taken strict actions against cryptocurrency trading, while South Korea is preparing a bill to impose tough regulatory requirements.

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"Claims that cryptocurrencies will replace established fiat currencies are rubbish; our view is that bitcoin is a bubble", they said. Both coins are trading at prices that are significantly lower than Monday's rates, but they're still profitable for those buyers who bought in early on.

Bitcoin futures maturing on Wednesday on the Cboe Global Markets Inc's Cboe Futures Exchange were at $10,070, with 1,586 contracts traded, after having opened at $10,850.

Hong Nam-ki, minister of the office for government policy co-ordination, said that opinions on cryptocurrency trading are sharply divided within the government, but vowed to make a decision on regulations during Thursday's parliamentary session.

Regulators around the world are still debating how to address the risks posed by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, the world's most popular virtual currency. "We expect the volatility to continue throughout 2018 but fundamentally believe that bitcoin is still in a bull market", said Christopher Keshian, cofounder of APEX Token Fund.

Ripple's XRP also followed suit; the cryptocurrency has nearly halved in value over the past week - from around the $2 mark to a low of $1.20 on Tuesday. "This is far from guaranteed given the existence of alternatives with better characteristics".