Bitcoin dropped 14 percent Tuesday, hitting its lowest point in a month and trading at below $12,000 a unit as concerns are popping up that a regulatory crackdown is imminent in several nations worldwide.
South Korea, which has been a bit back and forth on this issue, announced last week (via the Justice Ministry) that it would be banning bitcoin exchanges before announcing (via the Blue House) that it actually would not be banning bitcoin after all. The uncertainly jumped back into the picture this week when South Korea further “clarified” that the nation is not banning bitcoin now — but could ban cryptocurrency trading in the future.
Specifically, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon had told a local radio station that the government would be coming up with a set of measures to clamp down on the “irrational” cryptocurrency investment craze.
Planet crypto didn't like that announcement— and bitcoin’s price dropped sharply in response to as low as $11,730 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. That represents an almost 14 percent one-day haircut. All in all, the price of bitcoin is down about 40 percent from its mid-December high of around $20,000 per unit.
The fall in price has shaved about $125 billion from its “market cap.” Bitcoin's market cap is generated by multiplying the number of active bitcoins in the world by the price per bitcoin.