Bitcoin plunged by more than $1,000 on Thursday after South Korea said it was planning a crackdown on trading in the digital currency in the latest of a string of warnings for investors.
Richard Partington | The Guardian
In a further illustration of bitcoin’s volatility, it dropped to around $13,500 after trading at about $15,400 on Wednesday. The cryptocurrency has surged in value this year by more than 900%, becoming one of the biggest stories in finance amid a slew of warnings of a pending market crash, hitting a record high of almost $20,000 earlier this month.
South Korea, which is one of the biggest markets in the world for bitcoin, said it was preparing a ban on opening anonymous cryptocurrency accounts and new legislation to enable regulators to close coin exchanges if they felt there was a need to do so.
According to Reuters, the government issued a statement saying it 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 move comes less than two weeks after the high-profile bankruptcy of one of the country’s digital currency exchanges, after the Seoul-based platform was hit by hackers for a second time.