South Korea’s Cryptocurrency Crackdown Spreads FUD
Talk that South Korea is banning cryptocurrency trading is spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt. South Korea’s Justice Minister announced today that a bill is being prepared to ban all cryptocurrency trading. Several cryptocurrency exchanges in Seoul were raided this week as they are been investigated for alleged tax evasion. The total cryptocurrency market cap continues to move lower this week after we saw it hit a record high of over $800 billion on Sunday. We saw bitcoin fall under $14,000 today. Most of the leading cryptocurrencies are in the red again today, but bitcoin cash and IOTA have experienced some small gains. EOS, which is currently in 13th place has gained more than 19% over the past 24 hours.
Microsoft is accepting bitcoin payments again. The company had suspended bitcoin payments because of rising transaction fees and concerns over volatility. Funds can be used to buy games, movies and apps from the Windows and Xbox stores, but not for physical products. You should keep in mind that money added to Microsoft accounts using Bitcoin cannot be refunded.
And if we take a look at what’s happening in China, Chinese bitcoin mining giant Bitmain has set up a subsidiary in Zug, Switzerland. This may have been influenced by reports, which have been circulating that China is making steps towards putting an end to cryptocurrency mining.
Also hitting headlines this week is news that Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy investment partners hopes to launch the first cryptocurrency merchant bank. An undisclosed Bloomberg source stated that Novogratz “envisions Galaxy Digital as the Goldman Sachs of crypto.” Novogratz is putting substantially all of his crypto investments into Galaxy, around $400 million of bitcoin, ether, initial coin offerings and stakes in startups such as Xapo, Bitstamp, and Ripple Labs.
And finally, Venezuela’s opposition-run parliament this week outlawed a “petro” cryptocurrency. Socialist President Nicolas Maduro has been promoting this cryptocurrency. Legislator Jorge Milan told Reuters that this is not This is not a cryptocurrency, this is a forward sale of Venezuelan oil. It is tailor-made for corruption.