Digital currencies saw a broad fall on Monday, with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ripple taking deep plunges, while Ethereum flatlining in terms of performance.
A number of factors have led to these minor crashes that saw Bitcoin value decline by 9.2% and Ripple trading at a remarkable 11.7% less than it was last week. Ethereum, meanwhile, held steady at the four-figure mark, after achieving it a few days back.
It was trading at around $1,094.
One of the reasons why these number are lower is because CoinMarketCap has started showing its prices by excluding the figures from Korean exchanges — which are notably inflated, owing to the intense popularity of cryptocurrencies in the country.
So much so, that it showed Ripple down nearly 30%.
And this is something that had an overall effect on the market, even as Ripple soared in 2017 by an astonishing 35,000% leaving Bitcoin in the dust with its increase of 1,500%. This quiet start to the year by Bitcoin has led to many investors looking at alternative cryptocurrencies, and left many wondering whether any of these could usurp the original.
As of right now, Ethereum and Ripple have been jostling for the second spot, a ranking that changes based on the price of the two coins.
Market capitalization, as it is known.
Contrary to many digital currencies, Ripple has been working with large institutions. And this is something that some think gives it both legitimacy and practicality. That said, many cryptocurrency enthusiasts see this centralization as the exact opposite of what the concept should be about.
Ripple, in case you’re unaware, is the name of a San Francisco based startup, which began operation some 5 years ago, in order to develop a payments network for financial institutions. XRP is the token it has created for use in transactions.
As for Bitcoin, it failed to retest the all-time high of $20,000. The original cryptocurrency gave up the gains it made over the weekend, sliding to $14,781 after breaking through $17,000 last week. And while it’s not exactly clear where the selling pressure is coming from, there are a couple of catalysts.
One being the news coming out of South Korea, where it was being reported that regulators were preparing a wide ranging inspection on six commercial banks that manage virtual Bitcoin accounts. These are accounts where investors can store fiat money when they buy or sell crypto.
Choi Jong-ku, the head of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission believes that it is time for the government to step up cryptocurrency inspection at banks:
“There is growing concern that banks, which should actively act as gatekeepers to prevent the distribution of crime and illegal funds, are aiding and encouraging them.”
Speaking of government crackdowns, trouble is brewing in China as well. Bitcoin miners are reportedly felling the country, even as many believe the likelihood of detection is very small right now. It is, for many, a small distraction, not a significant development.
Still, Bitmain, which runs two exchanges has set up a regional office in Singapore, along with mining operations in the US and Canada.