Bitcoin leads cryptocurrencies lower, Ripple counters the trend
2018-01-11 21:49:31 GMT (
Bitcoin leads cryptocurrencies lower, Ripple counters the trend

Bitcoin tumbled 8% on Thursday, or about $1,200, to the lowest since late 2017, after South Korean justice minister Park Sang said that his ministry is working on a law to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges, while also working on outlawing hidden cryptocurrency accounts, which can be used for money laundering. 


As of 07:29 GMT, bitcoin fell 7.99% to $13,700 from the opening of $14,899, with an intraday high at $14,700, and the lowest since January 2 at $13,412. 


Bitcoin was hurt last week after CoinMarketCap announced sidelining South Korean bitcoin prices due to steep moves that can be widely different from international prices. 


The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese authorities have decided to ban bitcoin mining on the directive of of a government agency that supervises internet risks.


The reported China mining ban comes after news outlets reported a wide inspection effort by South Korean authorities on banks that hold cryptocurrency accounts amid larger efforts to track and crack down on potential money laundering operations. 


Bitcoin mining thrives in China, where miners profit even with the highest electricity rate as long as bitcoin is above $6,925, with statistics pointing to a demand increase of electricity to power bitcoin mining to about 20.5 terawatt/hour a year, about 10% of electricity used in South Africa. 


As for other cryptocurrencies, Ripple rose 2% to $1.99 after MoneyGram announced testing the idea of including Ripple in its services, while bitcoin cash tumbled 13% to $2,486, as Ethereum Classic declined 9% to $33.04, and Litecoin slid 9% to $227. Ethereum lost 7% to $1,150. 

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