Here we go again. Bitcoin fell below $10,000 on Tuesday morning (with the usual caveat that it depends on where you get your quotes) in yet another testament to the notion that the “revolution” might have seen its better days.
You’re reminded that yesterday, cryptos came under renewed pressure amid a series of potential catalysts including Nordea’s decision to ban trading in what president and CEO Casper von Koskull once called “an absurd joke” of an asset class.
As Bloomberg wrote in a follow-up piece, other Nordic lenders are similarly skeptical as are central banks in the region. “We’re skeptical toward cryptocurrencies and are advising our employees not to trade them,” a spokesman for Danske said, adding that “we’re currently analyzing the situation and time will tell whether there’ll be a formal ban.”
The latest bit of bad (or at least “not great”) news comes predictably out of South Korea, where authorities have been debating the best way to crack down on what many officials view as dangerous speculation without triggering some kind of meltdown.
On Tuesday, the country’s Financial Services Commission said the real-name account system for cryptocurrency trading will go into effect next week and cryptocurrency trading using existing virtual accounts will be banned. Additionally, trading by minors and foreigners is explicitly forbidden henceforth. They’re also implementing new money laundering guidelines starting on the 30th.
“Actions in South Korea have an outsized influence on Bitcoin’s price [as] it is the world’s third-biggest market for the digital currency after Japan and the US, and demand has meant the cryptocurrency trading hands at higher prices in the country than elsewhere,” The Telegraph writes on Tuesday, reminding its readers about something the crypto community knows all too well.
As far as an outright ban in South Korea is concerned, a government official who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity said it is still under discussion.
To be sure, the real-name news isn’t exactly a surprise which perhaps explains why there was no immediate reaction in prices when the headlines hit. Here’s what a South Korean trader who “only agreed to be identified by his family name, Ahn” told Reuters:
Everyone knew this was coming, as the government already said they will enforce the real-name system before. Rather, I can see this as a chance to go in, not out. I don’t see any reason to take my money out.
Well sorry “Ahn” but it looks like not everyone agrees with that assessment because after initially shaking off the news, prices fell overnight with Bitcoin breaking below $10,000 early in the U.S. trading day. The rest of the space dove in sympathy.
Panning out to the 15th (i.e. before last week’s plunge that left everyone wondering whether the bubble had popped), you can clearly see that the dip buyers are not as enthusiastic these days:
Remember this from Nassim Taleb?..
No authority that can decide on its fate.
Yeah, well here’s Reuters one more time on South Korea:
To make deposits into virtual coin wallets, cryptocurrency traders will need to identify themselves with their real names at the exchange and have those matched with information at local banks by Jan. 30.