Cryptocurrencies Lose $200 Billion in Value

Bitcoin's price fell to as low as $10,105 on Wednesday, according to the CoinDesk Price Index, but has since rebounded to $10,283.

The price of bitcoin fell Wednesday under $10,000 for a bitcoin on Wednesday, a level not seen since early December.

South Korea has joined a number of regulators and governments attempting to dampen bitcoin fever, in the case of the Seoul government by considering banning digital currency exchanges in its jurisdiction.

If regulatory concerns aren't enough to explain bitcoin's 50% slump from its record high reached last month, how about blaming it on the moon?

Short term traders within cryptocurrencies had their courage tested yesterday as a whirlwind of pressure on the major coins created large declines, some stability and then a rise in values.

Bitcoin's market value has dropped to about $170 billion from a peak north of $310 billion. Bitcoin moved back to the $12,000 mark in Thursday's trade, signifying a growth of more than 20% compared to the previous close.

On Tuesday morning, when markets in London opened, the combined market capitalization of all digital currencies stood at almost $654 billion. South Korea banned opening anonymous virtual currency accounts and put in place new laws giving authorities power to shut down digital currency exchanges. The country has seen a bitcoin craze, with young and old betting on the cryptocurrency to build wealth.

Bitcoin led the fall on other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Ripple, over suggestions that Russian Federation and China may crack down on trading.

The shift toward tighter regulation sparked a strong negative reaction from many South Koreans, with thousands signing a petition to stop a ban on cryptocurrency trading.

The cryptocurrencies market has so far had a rocky start to the new year with prices of the top coins plummeting alarmingly. I spoke to John Leslie, a crytpocurrency trader who has considerable investments into bitcoin, and he said, "It is never fun waking up and seeing your entire portfolio take an absolute plunge, but in the end, I believe now is the time to buy up more". The I-T department is trying to work out a way of assessing these virtual currencies for tax purposes.

Criticism of the free-wheeling, half-a-trillion-dollar world of digital coins issued nearly daily by regulators from Russia, South Korea to the USA have put investors on the edge in the new year.


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