Úno 02

Diversify They Said: Bitcoin’s Drop Sparks Double Pain For Altcoin Holders

· February 2, 2018 · 8:30 am

Bitcoin has proven its worth in a fresh market downturn as altcoin assets across the board dramatically overtake its losses.


Bitcoin Steadiest Top-50 Asset

A glance at Coinmarketcap’s top fifty cryptocurrency asset prices Friday reveals even Ether (ETH) to have lost around 7% more than Bitcoin’s 15.5% daily minuses.

Ripple shed 31%, Bitcoin Cash 20% and Cardano 37%, putting it just behind Ardor’s 39% as the top fifty’s biggest loser as of press time.

The only asset to buck the trend in the top one hundred assets is Digix DAO, which in an unlikely opportunistic growth spurt appreciated 90% in the last 24 hours.

As mainstream media once again raced to celebrate the popping of the Bitcoin ‘bubble,’ cryptocurrency industry insiders showed no signs of panic.

In what has become a common sequence of events for 2018, fresh downward corrections are being met by tips to “buy low” concerning Bitcoin, its lesser fall making it the ideal holding currency for purchasing even lower altcoins.

Meanwhile, investment platform BankToTheFuture creator Simon Dixon led forecasts of where Bitcoin’s price bottom would eventually appear, considering $7300 as the site of a future upward correction.

Korea Ditches ‘Kimchi Premium’ Arbitrage

Downward selling pressure had been mounting through last week for Bitcoin. Regulatory overhauls in South Korea, reiteration of government stance in India and the misrepresentation of both in the mainstream press led to an  infiltration of ‘fake news’ which appeared to frighten markets.

The flurry of media speculation produced fertile ground for naysayers, with popular monitoring site 99bitcoins now containing almost 250 Bitcoin ‘obituaries.’

At the same time, conditions in jurisdictions which contributed to negative sentiment are showing signs of marked improvement.

South Korea, which had previously been famous for mismatched crypto prices and associated arbitrage opportunities, has reinvented its landscape as new regulations deliver changes.

Data from Bloomberg and CryptoCompare shows the price of a bitcoin in the country now de facto matches global averages.

What do you think about crypto markets’ current performance? When will Bitcoin bottom out? Let us know in the comments below!


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Led 31

South Korea Government ‘Will Not Ban Or Suppress’ Cryptocurrency – Minister

· January 31, 2018 · 6:30 am

South Korea’s government has confirmed it has “no intention” of banning or “suppressing” cryptocurrency trading in fresh comments on the industry.


‘No Intention To Ban’

In comments Wednesday quoted by Reuters, finance minister Kim Dong-yeon, who earlier in January said that a shutdown was still a possibility, finally ended apprehension surrounding the future of cryptocurrency trading in the country.

Kim had faced a 200,000-strong petition demanding he be fired from his position after the comments, which along with those by justice minister Park Sang-ki, sent shock waves through cryptocurrency markets and sparked public outrage.

South Korea won't ban crypto trading

“There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency,” he said.

The confirmation may come as less of a surprise to some, as Seoul moves forward with regulatory improvements to the exchange sector at breakneck speed in recent weeks.

In addition to tax and security obligations, an anonymous trading ban became law Tuesday, with exchanges now obliged to ensure account identities match those of bank accounts.

The pace of change is already causing teething problems, however, as Bitcoinist reported as the ban commenced that big-volume exchanges were finding it considerably easier to work with banks to stay compliant.

Conversely, smaller exchanges faced being cut off from the market through lack of compliance as banks failed to cope with demand. This, sources say, could see one million users caught out.

crypto exchange

Soeul Goes After Illegal Actors

Not just bonafide actors, but also the shadier side of South Korea’s trading market has caught the attention of regulators.

Customs in the country has announced it has uncovered “illegal foreign exchanges” involving cryptocurrency worth almost $600 million this week, with investigations ongoing.

The organization stated:

Customs service has been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force.

Bitcoin prices have, meanwhile, stopped reacting to developments in South Korea’s regulation after Japan’s major hack and legal troubles at Tether stole the limelight.

What do you think about the latest developments in South Korea? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pxhere and Bitcoinist archives.

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Led 30

South Korea: Anonymous Trading Ban Leaves a ‘Million’ Users in Limbo

· January 30, 2018 · 9:00 am

South Korea cryptocurrency exchanges are complaining of unfair treatment as the country’s ban on anonymous trading begins Tuesday.


Banks Favor Big Names

According to local news media outlet Business Korea, exchanges using corporate bank accounts may face sudden halts to service or even an obligation to cease trading altogether.

Korean authorities deemed January 30th the date when all citizens trading cryptocurrency must do so through just one account, the identity details of which match their bank account.

Banks have been working to implement the required system at breakneck speed as details were finalized just weeks ago, but teething problems have meant not every exchange is in a position to comply with the new laws.

South Korea Exchange Bithumb Hacked For 'Tens Of Millions' Of Won

Specifically, four major exchanges appear to have been given preferential treatment based upon their size, Business Korea reports. The media outlet states:

…Banks decided to provide a new virtual account service that uses a real name system only to four companies – Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Cobit – which had previously issued virtual accounts, citing their mounting workloads among others.

Other exchanges using corporate rather than virtual accounts may thus be left in limbo as of today, along with the funds of their users who could total over one million.

The result would be a regulatory ‘blind spot’ for those holdings, ironically shielding them from the anti-money laundering eyes of regulators who demanded the switch-up in the first place.

Adoption Push Shows Divide Between Big And Small

The big players in the South Korea exchange arena are faring conspicuously better at the end of January compared to smaller operations. On Monday, major e-commerce platform WeMakePrice even announced it would begin accepting up to 12 coins as payment via a partnership with the largest exchange by volume Bithumb.

Meanwhile, HTS Coin, one of the lesser exchanges facing delays in getting virtual account support from banks, complained that it had itself begun building an identity scheme with its banking partner back in December. This, it was told, was subsequently canceled.

“We have already executed sufficient procedures for confirming the identity of a member when receiving a new member via a corporate account,” a spokesman told Business Korea. “It is against equity to allow only a few exchanges to issue new virtual accounts.”

What do you think about the anonymous trading ban? Let us know in the comments below!


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Led 24

South Korea Fines 6 Exchanges For Security Law ‘Violations’

· January 24, 2018 · 8:30 am

Six major South Korea cryptocurrency exchanges have received fines of around 25 million won ($23,500) for lax security measures which “violated” laws.


6 Of 10 Exchanges Ordered To Pay

As local news media outlet Yonhap News Agency reports Wednesday, government officials will press forward with penalties in what some commentators view as an increasingly promising sign of bringing the domestic cryptocurrency industry under regulatory control.

“Although the size of transactions and the number of users are surging, overall user protection measures are insufficient,” the publication quotes the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) as saying.

South Korea

The decision to fine exchanges flouting the Information and Communications Act, which include well-known names such as Korbit, Coinone and Coinplug, follows a joint investigation into security setups at ten exchanges which several government agencies ran from October to December last year.

‘Tiny’ Fines

The move is the latest is Seoul’s ongoing bid to solidify the exchange market, having confirmed this week that anonymous trading would end January 30 and exchanges must pay tax on 2017 profits in full by April 30.

Reactions have been mixed, with native exchange users in particular sensitive following mass uproar resulting from the government’s handling of the issue over the past months.

Consensus appears to be similarly lacking on the fines, a KCC source telling Yonhap the amounts involved are “too low” and industry figures likewise voicing suspicions.

“I know there is an indication that the amount imposed on each operator is too low, but this measure imposes the maximum amount possible under current information and communication network law,” the official stated.

Nonetheless, security problems at Korean exchanges have received significant negative press amid rumors North Korea was stealing funds for its own ends on a regular basis.

Amid the suspicion, one media company hired white hat hackers to create and then compromise accounts on five exchanges, which it reports was successfully done with what it describes as “basic” tools.

What do you think about the South Korean exchange fines? Let us know in the comments below!


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Led 23

South Korea ‘Legalizes’ Cryptocurrency Trading, Bans Anonymity

· January 23, 2018 · 8:30 am

South Korea lawmakers have confirmed cryptocurrency exchanges will become de facto legal January 30 as they enact new laws about anonymity in trading.


6 Banks On Board For Change

In its most recent statements, the country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) confirmed that exchanges must only permit trades from customers whose name matches their bank account. Foreign citizens, both native and non-native, will not be allowed to trade.

“Establishment of the system for ‘real name verification of deposit and withdrawal accounts’ for settlement will be completed by January 30, 2018,” the FSC documentation reads.*

So far, six of Korea’s major banks have signed up to implement the required monitoring changes following collaboration with the government on inspection of anonymous exchange trading accounts earlier this month.

These are Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Industrial Bank, Kookmin Bank, Hana Bank and Gwangju Bank.

Exchanges Prepare In Advance

In reactions to the setting in stone of the new way of trading cryptocurrency, major exchanges presented various requirements for users.

Korbit, one of the leading platforms along with Bithumb, told customers to open an account at Shinhan specifically in order to continue trading.

“To use the new KRW deposit method, which is slated to be implemented within this month, you must have a Shinhan Bank account registered under your legal name. Please use this time to create a banking account at Shinhan Bank,” a post states.

South Korea Bans Bitcoin Futures As Authorities Consider Crypto Income Tax

Foreign-based customers had been able to gain access to the Korean market through virtual bank accounts and other tools, but they, along with minors, now face a moratorium of undetermined length.

On Monday, Seoul also addressed the issue of taxation on cryptocurrency exchanges, which are now obliged to pay a corporation tax and local income tax for 2017 profits amounting to 24.2%.

Markets continued to fall slightly through Tuesday, with the cementing of Korea’s official regulatory position on crypto trading having little effect on overall flat sentiment.

*This quotation is extracted from the first PDF file available in attachments via the source link.

What do you think about the latest news from South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchange regulation? Let us know in the comments below!


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Led 19

Singapore Bitcoin ATMs Sold Out, Trading Still Allowed

· January 19, 2018 · 6:30 am

When markets are volatile and crashes occur, the majority of people are cashing out and taking profits or panic selling. There are some, however, who see opportunity in the sea of red and buy up at lower prices. This is exactly what has been happening in Singapore this week when Bitcoin ATM machines ran dry.


According to reports, Bitcoin machines in downtown Singapore sold out of the virtual currency yesterday as prices plummeted below $10,000 for the first time since the end of November.

Lions and Bulls

Amid more confusion over clampdowns across the Asia Pacific region, prices fell and markets dropped as much as 40% since highs just after New Year. Much of the impetus for crypto market prices originates in Southeast Asia where they are traded heavily. Western media outlets, such as Reuters and CNBC, amplify the FUD when they misreport about total clampdowns that have not occurred.

Singaporeans, however, remain unperturbed and have been snapping up the digital currency at low prices. One café manager who has a Bitcoin ATM told media:

We had to put an ‘out of service’ sign at our machine. Over the past two days, we’ve had 20 to 30 people line up, from about 10 on a usual day.

Bitcoin Exchange founder Zann Kwan, who owns two machines on the island state, said the buying frenzy was bigger in December as BTC approached record highs:

Sellers are holding back in anticipation of higher prices, so we have less bitcoin supply. Buyers on the other hand are hoping prices will crash some more, so they can buy.

Nobody Panic

Experienced crypto traders and Bitcoin investors will know that market corrections are nothing new. However, a wave of panic sets in when those who are new to the markets rush to sell off their crypto for fears of a complete collapse. The despair was wide-reaching with suicide helplines appearing in crypto groups in the US. Additionally, South Koreans posted pictures of smashed up computers in anger at their government’s constant indecision and threats to close exchanges.

The official stance of the Monetary Authority of Singapore was outlined to the media:

MAS regulates the activities that surround virtual currencies if those activities fall within our scope as a financial regulator. The risks surrounding virtual currency exchanges include those related to money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF). Virtual currency transactions, given their anonymous nature, are particularly vulnerable to abuse for ML/TF. MAS will therefore introduce anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism requirements on virtual currency intermediaries that deal in or facilitate the exchange of virtual currencies for real currencies. The regulations will extend to the exchange of virtual currency for fiat currency, or another virtual currency.

As in South Korea, the government wants more transparency and less anonymity with cryptocurrency trading. It does not want to shut it down.

Do you use Bitcoin ATMs to buy and sell? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Bitcoinist archives.

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Led 15

South Korea Won’t Ban Bitcoin Trading as Price Chart Turns Bullish

· January 15, 2018 · 7:00 am

Bitcoin pundits are forecasting a fresh bull run as news from South Korea and the cryptocurrency’s price turn markets increasingly optimistic.


Seoul To Regulate After ‘Sufficient Consultation’

After the South Korean justice minister caused “confusion and anger” last week by saying the government would ban cryptocurrency exchanges, local news media report, the latest statements from Seoul indicate a significant U-turn.

“The proposed shutdown of exchanges that the justice minister recently mentioned is one of the measures suggested by the justice ministry to curb speculation,” Yonhap News Agency quotes a statement from the Government Office of Policy Coordination today.

A governmentwide decision will be made in the future after sufficient consultation and coordination of opinions.

Politicians had previously sought to impose strict controls on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading activities within a seemingly very short timeframe.

South Korean Prime Minister Warns Youth That Bitcoin is a Gateway to Illegal Activities

In December, new laws were passed which would have significantly limited exchange activities from as early as January 20.

After mass public uproar and most recently accusations lawmakers were “ridiculing the Korean people,” the outlook for cryptocurrency regulation in South Korea has suddenly begun to look notably more constructive.

“Monday’s announcement suggests that a shutdown is not likely in the near future,” Yonhap concludes.

Bitcoin 50-Day Moving Average Dip Excites Investors

Across global markets, Bitcoin prices are already reacting in kind to the new hope, with one analyst noting Monday’s dip below the 50-day moving average is characteristic of an impending move upwards.

Korea had been the most active trading community in the world for Bitcoin, its influence still conspicuous; a petition even calling for senior ministers to be fired over legislation mismanagement accrued over 130,000 signatures in days, Bitcoinist reported last week.

Meanwhile, details of the style of regulation that could take hold in the coming months remain sketchy.

Across the water in Japan, a more advanced model of permissioned exchange trading appears to be delivering positive economic results. Analysts have even said that Bitcoin investors alone could already be contributing as much as 0.3% to the country’s GDP.

What do you think about the latest developments from South Korea and their impact on Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!


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Pro 28

South Korea Tightens Grip, But Won’t Ban Bitcoin Trading

· December 28, 2017 · 3:00 am

It was only a matter of time until authorities pulled the reins in on one of the biggest crypto trading nations in the world. South Korea, which is responsible for as much as 25% of total crypto trading volume, said on Thursday it will impose additional measures to regulate speculation in crypto within the country.


South Korea Will Ban Anonymous Crypto Trading

As previously reported that more regulations are expected, South Korean regulators have confirmed additional measures to curb illegal activities at cryptocurrency exchanges. According to Reuters, the government noted that trading prices of most digital currencies were much higher on South Korean exchanges than they were on exchanges in other countries.

A government spokesperson made the following statement:

The government had warned several times that virtual coins cannot play a role as actual currency and could result in high losses due to excessive volatility.

The first steps will include a ban on opening anonymous crypto trading accounts. Most exchanges require photographic proof of identity anyway, so this regulation is nothing to be concerned about.

Secondly, however, is a more alarming plan to introduce new legislation which will allow regulators to close virtual coin exchanges if required. This measure had been recommended by the justice ministry, according to the statement.

Previously, South Korea had announced a plan to tax capital gains from cryptocurrency trading to tackle what it perceives as the risk of excessive speculation.

Banks Backing Off

As expected, earlier this week, two major banks in South Korea announced that they are closing reward programs, which allow clients to purchase bitcoins with credit card bonus points.

Commercial banks in the country are increasingly preventing the opening of new virtual accounts, which are necessary to trade on South Korean crypto exchanges.

South Korea Bans Bitcoin Futures As Authorities Consider Crypto Income Tax

In addition to Shinhan Bank and KB Kookmin Bank closing rewards programs next month, Woori Bank and Korea Development Bank also announced that they would be closing all virtual accounts provided to exchanges.

It is no surprise that banks in South Korea and elsewhere are pulling back from crypto; the concept essentially goes against their business model. Unfortunately, in this embryonic industry, traders still need to rely on exchanges, many of which, such as Coinbase, have adopted banking-style models of fees and commissions. Only when crypto trading is truly decentralized and peer-to-peer will the masses start to benefit more than the banks and exchanges.

Will the Korean clampdown affect the markets? Add your thoughts to the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, PublicDomainPictures, and Bitcoinist archives.

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