Bitcoin price latest: Cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and Ripple plunge after South Korea talks ban

South Korean ministers have suggested that trading in the currencies could be banned entirely

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 16 January 2018 09:48 GMT
What is Bitcoin and why is its price so high?

Cryptocurrencies across the market are in the middle of a huge crash.

All cryptocurrencies are falling amid a major selloff. Most have fallen more than 10 per cent over the morning, and the price of bitcoin has dropped below $12,000.

Just days ago, bitcoin was marching towards $20,000. But just today it has fallen more than 10 per cent – taking it down almost 40 per cent over the last month, but still having risen more than 1,300 per cent over the year.

:: The Independent’s bitcoin group is the place for the best headlines and discussion of all cryptocurrencies. Like it here for the latest on how people are making money – and losing it

Bitcoin is the best performing of the various cryptocurrencies over the morning.

Ripple, the third largest cryptocurrency, had dropped by as much as 25 per cent amid major volatility. Ethereum fell by more than 15 per cent.

The price of cryptocurrencies tends to fluctuate wildly, and far more quickly than other more traditional assets and currencies. But the plunge on Tuesday morning is extreme even in that market.

The drop came amid increasing suggestions in South Korea that officials might look to impose new regulations on the currency. Finance minister Kim Dong-yeon suggested that the country might ban trading in the currencies entirely, pending a government review.

The government has said that the plans are only a suggestion and that more talks are needed. But another government minister said that trading could be banned last week, triggering another instant sell-off, and the plans have already led 200,000 people to petition the government asking to keep bitcoin trading legal.

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