PBOC vice gov. advocates ban on trading virtual currencies

Bitcoin other cryptocurrencies tumble on govt crackdown worries

PBOC vice gov. advocates ban on trading virtual currencies

The losses this week have caused the digital coin's market capitalisation to slip to $177bn (£128bn).

As South Korea is planning to make a government-wide effort to strengthen regulations, the cryptocurrency bubble is expected to burst, along with China's crackdown on cryptocurrency trading through online platforms and mobile apps and the U.S.' taxation plans.

Bitcoin was trading at $12,615.60, down 7.1 percent from the day before as of 8.03am Greenwich Mean Time (3.03am Eastern Standard Time), according to Coindesk. China has already banned initial coin offerings and some other operations involving digital currencies.

On Monday, a Bloomberg report claimed that China is in the process of blocking offshore cryptocurrency platforms that rely on centralised trading.

Last week, South Korea announced a crackdown on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but backtracked after negative feedback from the public.

Other virtual currencies including ethereum and ripple have also dipped significantly.

Bitcoin tumbled below US$10,000, bringing its loss to nearly 50 per cent from a record set only a month ago, as increased scrutiny from regulators around the world weighs on the digital-coin craze. But, thankfully, the government made it clear a few days ago that it wouldn't enact an all-out ban on cryptocurrency trading activities. At roughly 22:30 GMT, the Ripple price fell to an intraday low of $0.909, which marked its first drop below $1 since December 24. This decline seems troubling, partially reflecting the market's dynamic due to Bitcoin's status as the "benchmark currency".

Cryptocurrencies enjoyed a bumper year, with bitcoin hitting a high of about $20,000 in 2017 as mainstream investors entered the market and an explosion in ICOs drove demand for bitcoin and Ethereum. This attempt was not successful, but it was still very much under consideration on Tuesday, according to South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon.

Last week, South Korean Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said his ministry was preparing a bill that, if passed, could ban trading via cryptocurrency exchanges.

South Korea, another large cryptocurrency market, is also considering stricter regulation.

That came amid news that a senior Chinese central banker had said authorities should ban centralised trading of virtual currencies and prohibit individuals and businesses from providing related services.

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