World Economy

Over $100 Billion Wiped Off Cryptocurrency Market in 24 Hours

Cryptocurrencies have seen a major sell-off. Bitcoin fell below $9,000 on Thursday. Other major coins including Ethereum and Ripple were down 22% and 32% respectively compared to a day ago
S. Korean officials have begun enforcing a January 23, 2018 rule disallowing anonymous accounts from trading cryptocurrencies.S. Korean officials have begun enforcing a January 23, 2018 rule disallowing anonymous accounts from trading cryptocurrencies.

Over $100 billion was wiped off the global cryptocurrency market in 24 hours on Friday amid concerns over tighter regulation and worries that the bitcoin price was manipulated on a major exchange.

The total market capitalization or value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation stood at $405,241,490,138 at 6:30 am London time, according to data from, which takes into account the prices of digital coins across a number of key exchanges. This was a fall of $112.6 billion of value from a day before, CNBC reported.

Cryptocurrencies have seen a major sell-off. Bitcoin fell below $9,000 on Thursday, according to CoinDesk's bitcoin price index, which tracks prices from four major cryptocurrency exchanges.

Other major coins including Ethereum and Ripple were down 22% and 32% respectively compared to a day ago. The cryptocurrency world has been plagued by a spate of negative news.

India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the country wants to "eliminate" the use of digital currencies in criminal activities, signaling tighter regulation in the country.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that an increasing number of digital currency investors are worried the price of bitcoin and other digital currencies have been inflated by cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which is included in CoinDesk's price index.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that in December, the US Commodity Futures and Trading Commission subpoenaed Bitfinex and a cryptocurrency company called Tether, which is run by many of the same executives.

And last week, Japanese exchange Coincheck was compromised after hackers ran off with over $500 million worth of a cryptocurrency called NEM.

Buffet Predicts Bad Ending

Key business leaders have poured cold water over the cryptocurrency world. Investing legend Warren Buffett told CNBC in a recent interview that the sector "will come to a bad ending". Others still see the long-term potential of bitcoin and other coins.

Fundstrat's Tom Lee, the only major Wall Street strategist to issue formal price targets on bitcoin, said two weeks ago that $9,000 is a "major low" for bitcoin and "the biggest buying opportunity in 2018."

And Kay Van-Petersen, a Saxo Bank analyst who correctly predicted the cryptocurrency's rally at the start of last year told CNBC recently that bitcoin could hit between $50,000 and $100,000 this year.

World Grappling With Cryptos

If 2017 was the year of the ICO, it seems as if 2018 is destined to become the year of regulatory reckoning. Things have already begun to heat up as countries around the world grapple with cryptocurrencies and try to determine how they are going to treat them. Some are welcoming, others are cautious. And some countries are downright antagonistic, Bitcoinmagazine reported.

Here is a brief overview of how some countries/unions from various regions are treating cryptocurrency regulations:

United States

The United States has no coherent direction on its cryptocurrency regulation other than that there will be some soon. The Securities and Exchange Commission has warned investors of cryptocurrency investing risks, halted several ICOs and hinted at the need for greater cryptocurrency regulation.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission became the first US regulator to allow for cryptocurrency derivatives to trade publicly, then organized meetings to talk about possibly changing the rules for cryptocurrency derivatives clearing (one of the meetings was postponed due to the federal government shutdown).


The Financial Consumer Agency in Canada does not consider cryptocurrencies to be “legal tender”, excluding all but Canadian bank notes and coins from that definition. The True North, however, is not all harsh on its cryptocurrency regulatory stances. In fact, it appears to be the most transparent country in this list when it comes to understanding laws surrounding the digital currency industry (aside from Switzerland, which wants to be “THE crypto-nation”).


Venezuela is not a major world economy or a large portion of the cryptocurrency investing community. The country’s regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies, however, is noteworthy because the government under Nicolas Maduro is seeking to skirt economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by announcing its own oil-backed “petro” cryptocurrency.


Japan isn’t particularly liberal toward digital currency regulation; it’s merely winning the race to attract the best from Asia’s cryptocurrency industry, as China and South Korea have been creating hostile/uncertain environments. Whether or not Japan will allow for a cryptocurrency-themed J-pop band, the Japanese government has certainly been more welcoming of cryptocurrencies than its Asian neighbors.


China has been taking ever-increasing actions to clamp down on all things cryptocurrency. Starting off by banning ICOs, China ordered a bank account freeze associated with exchanges, kicked out bitcoin miners and instituted a nationwide ban on internet and mobile access to all things related to cryptocurrency trading.

South Korea

The country boasted a significant cryptocurrency presence in the past and was initially thought of as the country of refuge from the crackdowns occurring in China late last year. However, discord surfaced in January 2018 amongst top Korean officials on future regulatory actions for the digital currency industry, with declarations, clarifications, misinformation and ultimately some limited implementation. The uncertainty and potential negative regulatory impacts have now been cited as the cause for marketwide sell-offs on Red Tuesday as well as on January 30, 2018, when Korean officials began enforcing a January 23, 2018, rule disallowing anonymous accounts from trading cryptocurrencies.


Until recently, the finance and banking center of Asia has been relatively lax compared to many of its Asian counterparts on cryptocurrency regulation. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, like many financial regulators, warned of risks of speculating in the cryptocurrency markets during the December 2017 peak in bitcoin prices.


In the wake of the August 2017 financial scandal surrounding the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the Australian government sought to follow in Japan’s footsteps by strengthening its anti-money laundering laws and regulating digital currencies.

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