Bitcoin fell after regulators in South Korea, the cryptocurrency’s largest market, said they were launching probes into six banks to crack down on speculation.
X The regulators are looking into South Korea’s NH Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea , Shinhan Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, Woori Bank and Korea Development Bank, to ensure they are following anti-money laundering regulations, the Wall Street Journal reported.
But Bitcoin- and blockchain-related stocks were up. Riot Blockchain (RIOT) rose 1.8%, Marathon Patent Group (MARA) edged up 0.5%, Long Blockchain (LBCC) added 1.6%, and Overstock.com (OSTK) was was up 1.96% in premarket trading on the stock market today. However, Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) plunged 12%.
IBD’S TAKE:Worried about a Bitcoin bubble ? Look instead at blockchain technology. A growing number of blockchain startups, have nothing to do with Bitcoin or its peers and analysts believe the technology adds real value to the market.
South Korea has taken an increasingly harder line on Bitcoin in recently months. Last month, the country’s central bank warned of “irrational exuberance” over Bitcoin trading, and the government may tax capital gains from cryptocurrency trading.
Also in December, Seoul banned opening anonymous cryptocurrency accounts and will enact new legislation that would let regulators close coin exchanges.
The caution came after South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit announced it was closing and filing for bankruptcy after it was hacked for a second time this year.
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