Investing.com – The price of ethereum’s ether fell sharply lower as traders fled cryptocurrencies amid fears of a fresh crackdown in the industry after South Korea’s justice minister said Thursday a bill is being readied to ban all cryptocurrency trading in the country.
Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, fell 10% to $1,167 after notching an all-time high of $1,382 earlier in the session.
"There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges," said Justice minister Park Sang-ki.
As much as $100 million was wiped from the cryptocurrency market amid a South Korean exodus pressuring both smaller cap alternative cryptocurrencies “altcoins” and larger cap cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. South Korea plays a pivotal role in ethereum trading activity as more than10% of ethereum is said to be traded against the South Korean won.
The plunge in Ethereum comes against a period of strong demand for its ether, which notched several all-time record highs over the past few days amid signs of growing demand for its platform as it nears its ‘Casper’ software update which aims to improve security and scalability on the network.
Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash Retreats
Bitcoin fell below $13,000 before paring some losses but remains under pressure amid regulatory activity from both China and South Korea. China got its purge of the mining industry underway Wednesday, instructing a multi-agency task force to oversee the exit of cryptocurrency mining companies amid concerns of excessive electricity consumption.
Bitcoin Cash, widely believed to be a “real” alternative to bitcoin as it boasts both faster and cheaper transactions, fell 7.38% to $2,448, after surging above $4000 to a record high of $4,100 in December.
Ripple, MoneyGram Tie-up Provides Defence Against Sell off
Ripple's (XRP) rose 4.44% to $2.026 after reaching an all-time high of $3.28 last Thursday.
The rise in XRP comes despite growing signs that RippleNet, the technology behind the cryptocurrency, continues to garner support from major financial institutional after Moneygram announced it will partner with Ripple to test the startup's XRP token for international payments.
Ripple appears to be fulfilling the long-held belief among some investors that blockchain technologies provide the ideal platform to facilitate payments.
Goldman Sachs recently said while government regulation and excess volatility represent hurdles to wider cryptocurrency adoption, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may offer viable alternatives to traditional financial services in countries where the financial system of money is inadequately supplied.
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