What is Bitcoin and why is its price so high?

Bitcoin trading 'could be banned in China' as threat of Asian market crackdown pushes down price

It isn’t clear how such platforms will be defined, but 'small peer-to-peer transactions' aren't expected to be targeted

Aatif Sulleyman
Tuesday 16 January 2018 13:24
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China is planning to cut off domestic access to platforms and exchanges that enable people to trade digital currencies, it has been reported.

Bitcoin and all other major digital currencies plummeted after it emerged that trading could be banned in South Korea.

Speculation around the Chinese government’s plans for a major bitcoin crackdown have likely also contributed to the huge declines that have happened across the board.

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It is considering cutting off access to online services – both foreign and homegrown – that allow people to trade digital currencies, such as exchange websites, reports Bloomberg.

The measures are designed to discourage the use of digital currencies altogether.

It isn’t clear how such platforms will be defined, but according to the report, “small peer-to-peer transactions” won’t be blocked.

Last September, Chinese authorities shut down domestic exchanges.

It also banned initial coin offerings, which are a way for startups to raise funds from the public using a virtual currency.

However, the country is still one of the world’s biggest sources of cryptocurrency mining.

All of the top 10 digital currencies by market capitalisation, including ethereum, Ripple XRP and litecoin, rapidly declined in value this morning.

That happened after it emerged that South Korea is still weighing up a total ban on trading in cryptocurrencies.

Even if that doesn’t materialise, it could still impose sweeping new regulation on the market.

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