And the wild ride, of course, continues.
Bitcoin, the marquee name and poster child for cryptocurrencies, had a rough go of it on Monday (Jan. 22), hitting $10,500 — down from $11,700 — to begin the week.
The financial publication Barron’s reported that regulations — new ones, rumored to be in the offing — were the impetus that sent the price skidding. And this time around, as has been seen earlier in the month, South Korea was in focus.
The rumors were enough to send several dozen brethren down in crypto-land, as Barron’s noted that the top 60 coins — ranked by market cap — slipped in tandem with bitcoin.
As for the rumors (confirmed through a government announcement), in South Korea, several exchanges might be on the hook to pay taxes of as much as 24 percent on earnings from 2017. Another concern: data — as in transaction data — which might need to be shared. If Korean market falls, so might bitcoin, as it’s one of the largest in the world.
In an interview with Barron’s, Arthur Hayes, who serves as chief executive officer of BitMEX, a trading platform, said that Korea gets attention due to the volume of activity within the crypto realm that stems from South Korea.
“The infighting amongst different branches of the Korean government with respect to how bitcoin should be regulated, played out in the international media, spooked many traders,” he wrote to Barron’s. “‘Korean punters drive the market’ is the narrative that speculators globally have latched onto. When that is challenged, they dump their holdings or go short.”
Separately, ZDNet reported that South Korea will ban foreigners and minors from trading cryptocurrencies or creating bank accounts for them within the country. The tax announcement comes on the heels of emergency meetings by finance ministers.