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Bitcoin Cash prices rise; South Korea, Warren Buffet give up on the Bitcoin dream

Tarush Bhalla
12th Jan 2018
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Corrections are again playing on the much-talked-about cryptocurrency market. Just today, news reports said the South Korean government is planning to ban trade in cryptocurrency, throwing the entire Bitcoin market in a frenzy.

According to CoinDesk, prices of Bitcoin slipped to $13,558.15 (at the time of publishing the article), down 8.95 percent from today’s opening price of $14,890.72.

According to Reuters, Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said the government was preparing a bill to ban trading of the virtual currency on domestic exchanges.

According to the ministry’s press office, Park Sang-Ki said in a news conference,

“There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and the justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges.”

However, Reuters reported that hours later, the country's Presidential office stated the ban on virtual coin exchanges had not yet been finalised.

According to a report by Business Insider, cryptocurrencies in South Korea have been trading at significant premiums due to ‘high localised demand and strict national controls on capital movement’.

Earlier this week, David Schwartz, Chief Cryptographer at Ripple, said in a tweet,

“They (South Korea) are outliers due to a shortage of cryptos in Korea and difficulty getting KRW (Korean Republic Won) out. The new price is more accurate and meaningful, in my opinion.”

The same day, David had said Coinmarketcap excluded Korean prices from the displayed XRP (Ripple) prices, which brought down rates, likely triggering some panic selling. He said one should look closely at the data, and not be misled.

This year, business leaders are voicing their opinion on the crypto phenomenon, leading to price fluctuations. Just as the year started, it was reported on January 2 that US-based entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel may have invested $15 million to $20 million of his Founders Fund into Bitcoin in early 2017.

According to prices compiled by Bloomberg, Bitcoin prices rose by much as 8.6 percent following the news break. Bloomberg also reported speculation that 'Thiel and his fund may have already sold the investment amid the price spike.’

On Wednesday, investor Warren Buffet told CNBC that the craze around cryptocurrencies may have a bad end. The Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said, "In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending."

"If I could buy a five-year put on every one of the cryptocurrencies, I'd be glad to do it but I would never short a dime's worth."

Global giant Microsoft also announced it has ceased accepting payments in Bitcoin.

Kodak changes focus to Crypto

Just this week, Kodak’s stock rose as the photography behemoth announced a pivot into the Blockchain technology, announcing its Kodak-branded mining rig called KashMiner, which was showcased at this year's CES. Run by a company called Spotlite, and licensed by Kodak, users can pay $3,400 to rent the mining machine for two years.

According to CNBC, Kodak claims KashMiner will produce about $375 worth of new bitcoins every month, which would lead to estimated revenues of roughly $9,000 over those two years.

 Could this be the reason for Bitcoin Cash’s pick up?

At the time of publishing this article, the price of Bitcoin Cash, according to Coinmarketcap, stood at $2,539, up by 2.06 percent over the last 24 hours.

Incidentally, this rise came around the same time when a payment glitch appeared on the American retailer Overstock.com which allows customers to pay in either Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash.

Independent journalist Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity said that when he purchased solar lights worth $78.27 from the site, Overstock instructed him to send 0.00475574 in Bitcoin. Instead of sending Bitcoins, Krebs sent 0.00475574 in Bitcoin cash, which Overstock accepted, according to The Verge.

Overstock stated,

“We were made aware of an issue affecting cryptocurrency transactions and refunds by an independent researcher. After working with the researcher to confirm the finding, that method of payment was disabled while we worked with our cryptocurrency integration partner, Coinbase, to ensure they resolved the issue. We have since confirmed that the issue described in the finding has been resolved, and the cryptocurrency payment option has been re-enabled.”

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