Bitcoin was trading below $10,000 again Wednesday after a 23% plunge Tuesday that sent the price below the key psychological mark for the first time since December, as other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin tumbled. XRP, the native cryptocurrency of start-up Ripple, had enjoyed a month-long string of share price gains until its value sustained a devastating loss of 50 percent on January 16.
Digital currency website Coinhills says South Korea is the third-biggest market for Bitcoin trades in the world, behind Japan and the United States, and with over a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges.
"This bout of selling appears to have been sparked by a tightening of the regulatory noose on the wider cryptocurrency market".
China is also one of the countries that are making strict regulations for the virtual currency trading. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is hovering around $450 billion, down ~30 percent from $650 billion just 48 hours ago. That's a remarkable mass adoption of a new and untested investment vehicle, especially since cryptocurrency costs about 30 percent more on South Korean exchanges than on those used in the West.
GETTYVery difficult for bitcoin holders to make their money real
Bitcoin and other digital currencies trade on private exchanges that have little regulation or protection for investors. The cryptocurrency market saw a significant dip heading into the final portion of the month, with even the biggest names like bitcoin having fallen by double-digit percentages.
"The volatility of bitcoin - and other crypto currencies - is an expected, and important, part of the journey to becoming a mature asset class".
"The chief of South Korea's Financial Services Commission said: "(The government) is considering both shutting down all local virtual currency exchanges or just the ones who have been violating the law". According to Coinhills, South Korea is the third-biggest market in the world for Bitcoin trades after Japan and the US.
Bitcoin was fluctuating at around $10,200 on Bitstamp at time of publication on Wednesday.
Bitcoin hasn't caught on as a currency for buying things, as intended. "We do not think that the complete banning of cryptocurrencies is possible", he said.