South Korea hit headlines yesterday spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt over the proposal to ban cryptocurrency trading. This is just a proposal, so even if a bill to ban all cryptocurrency trading is actually drafted, it would need a majority vote in the National Assembly. This could actually take months or even years. The Blue Office, the executive office and official residence of the country’s head of state said that there will be no cryptocurrency trading ban in the short-term.
Apparently over 100,000 people in South Korea signed a petition to stop the cryptocurrency trading ban proposal. 30,000 people have apparently signed for the removal of the Justice and Finance ministers as they believe they have been trying to manipulate the market. According to news agency Yonhap the Finance Minister told reporters,” All government ministries agree on the need for a government response to an overheating in cryptocurrency speculation and for a degree of regulation, the issue of banning exchanges that the justice minister talked about yesterday is a proposal by the Justice Ministry and it needs more coordination among ministries.”
Exchanges in South Korea are responsible for over a quarter of the global volume. A major issue Korean traders face is the discrepancies in prices which can be much higher on local exchanges than in other countries. This week coinmarketcap.com excluded major South Korean exchanges from its data sheet due to an extreme divergence in prices.
Now let’s take a quick look at the cryptocurrency market today. Bitcoin climbed back over $14,000 today. A new pull request could see SegWit included in the anticipated Bitcoin Core version 0.16 release. This could ease Core node access to the technology. The CEO of Binance said recently that Warren Buffett “does not understand cryptocurrency” and that he is making “a big mistake.” “Binance wrote in a blog post on January 8th that, in order To ensure performance for our existing users, only a limited number of new registrations will be allowed each day. Registration open times will vary from day to day, without prior announcement”. On January 8th Binance saw a record 240,000 sign-ups in just one hour.
Ripple’s XRP is trying to regain its strength and it gained more than 18% over the past 24 hours. It was announced this week that Money transfer giant MoneyGram is partnering up with ripple to pilot XRP in their payment flows. They will explore MoneyGram’s integration into Ripple’s ecosystem through xVia. Moving over to Stellar, it has moved up to 8th place gaining more than 30% over the past 24 hours. It last hit a record high on January 3rd. Stellar has a market cap of over $12 billion. EOS hit a record high today of more than $14. It gained more than 30% over the past 24 hours and it is in 11th place with a market cap of over $8 billion.