What the FUD? Bitcoin Market Beset by January Woes

It has been a depressing fortnight for anybody reading various mainstream headlines touting the ‘end of Bitcoin’ and the arrival of the ‘crypto bubble’ crash. Unsurprisingly, the most recent cryptocurrency market slump has led to naysayers stepping onto their soapboxes, crying out messages of ‘I told you so’.

Their rhetoric is not unfounded, given that the overall cryptocurrency markets have suffered two dramatic corrections in under a month, one just before Christmas and the most recent last week. So-called industry experts have been voicing their opinions in interviews with mainstream media, speculating on the burst crypto bubble without any real evidence to show that the markets are irreversibly damaged.

What we know

A wave of uncertainty in South Korea led to massive sell-off of cryptocurrencies last week, as traders unloaded amid fears of regulatory clamp downs from the government. Those fears were led by misleading reports of an all out cryptocurrency trading ban in a country which accounts for 20 percent of global trades.

It is now understood that South Korea will only ban anonymous trading – meaning people wishing to trade cryptocurrencies need to do so through authorised exchanges using a registered bank account. Furthermore, foreigners and minors in the country are now prohibited from cryptocurrency trading, while the government will tax exchanges in line with existing policies.

This was coupled with murmurs of further regulatory moves in China, which has already banned cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. Unsurprisingly, the markets reacted as they would with any hint of bad news, which has led to bearish attitude.

Banks, financial institutions still wary

Financial service giant UBS is particularly bearish towards Bitcoin. Speaking at the World Economic forum this week, chairman Axel Weber said the company had advised clients to steer clear of investing in Bitcoin. In an interview with CNBC, Weber said:

“Retail clients, who don’t fully understand these products, should be protected from going into these products, because if there is a retail client affected in the future, the question will be again who was the bank that sold them these products and then banks will be blamed again for what has happened.”


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