2017 has been nothing short of spectacular for Bitcoin. We all know about Bitcoin’s massive rise in value breaking multiple records throughout the year.
However, its growth came with increasing concern as well regarding its value being heavily inflated by bandwagoners. Skeptics worried how Bitcoin is a bubble and it’s about to crash. So far, it seems as if they were right about Bitcoin.
It seemed as if Bitcoin was about to end 2017 on a high after almost hitting the $20,000 mark but it was not meant to be. Instead, Bitcoin has had a wild ride in the last few days of 2017. From $19800 it went as low as $10,400 after which it then climbed back to $15,000.
However, Bitcoin has fallen since then and is slowly starting to lose its grip over the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin fell below $14,000 in the past 24 hours.
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One of the major reasons for Bitcoin’s recent plunge is new rules being passed by the South Korean Commission that limits the cryptocurrency trading in the country. This had a huge impact on money being invested into Bitcoin because South Korea consists of 20 percent of Bitcoin’s total transactions in the world.
The country plans to forbid anyone from opening anonymous accounts and it might also shut down virtual exchanges. The South Korean Commission made a statement regarding this and went on to say that if an exchange goes against orders and does issue new trading accounts then the government has the power to act against or shut the exchange down entirely. These rules will take effect in January 2018.
The commission also went on to clarify that those users who traded anonymously before must now reveal their true identities else they won’t be allowed to trade anymore. The government will also monitor banks now and will be able to intervene if they feel the need to limit cryptocurrency fund flows.
All these new rules are also being brought in to fight money laundering.
“Officials share the view that virtual currency trading is overheating irrationally,” said Hong Nam-Ki, minister for government policy co-ordination said.
He added: “We can no longer overlook this abnormal speculative situation. Anonymous accounts currently in use will be closed next month.”
Hong also stated that those who are caught money laundering or price manipulation will face massive consequences. Hackers are widely blamed for whatever crypto theft occurs in South Korea.
Around 4000 Bitcoins were stolen from YouBit in Spring and now it was again attacked this month. It was then found out that these hackers hacked into people’s Facebook messenger accounts and turned people’s computers into cryptocurrency ‘miners’. The new rules will help prevent money laundering and thefts like these perhaps.
The result of all this?
Bitcoin fell because of all of this. Interest in Bitcoin had grown in South Korea the most so when laws like these get passed that limit and give practically no privacy to Bitcoin owners in South Korea then the cryptocurrency’s demand in that country will suffer which in turn would affect Bitcoin’s value.
However, Bitcoin has proven to have remained resilient to regulators so far. It fell earlier this year too because of a crackdown in another country however it still managed to skyrocket massively over the course of the entire year. Although Bitcoin has fallen, it remains valued over $13,000 so to say that Bitcoin is finished is completely wrong.
Did anyone benefit from this?
Although Bitcoin suffered a bit, some currencies went in the opposite direction hitting new highs. With Bitcoin falling, Ripple started gaining value.
Ripple is not just a cryptocurrency, it is a different technology than that of Bitcoin, that’s used as a digital protocol that acts as a pathway between other currencies and offers zero discrimination against peers over whichever currency they use.
According to Ripple developers, they want to enable “secure, instantly and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks.”
Although Ripple’s value may not show it, Ripple has grown tremendously this year as well. In percentage terms, it has grown more than any other cryptocurrency this year which is saying something about the future of this cryptocurrency. Its value was less than a cent at the start of 2017 ($0.006523 to be exact). Now it’s most recent value was $1.47 which amounts to an over 22000 percent increase in 2017!
The market cap has also risen to $54 billion which makes it the world’s third largest cryptocurrency which means it has overtaken the likes of Bitcoin cash as well. It sits beneath Bitcoin and Ethereum now.
With Bitcoin now falling, perhaps people will turn their attention to Ripple now as people might see Bitcoin falling as a bursting of the bubble and people might get attracted by Ripple’s enormous growth rate and small value.
Many crypto skeptics and experts alike have worried and have warned for a long time how we are living in a “crypto bubble” especially in the case of Bitcoin, that its going to burst sooner or later which will cause a lot of people to lose a lot of money. Although yes, Bitcoin has fallen but it hasn’t fallen by THAT much. Its still above $13000 in value.
Bitcoin has shown before that it can recover, as it went to $10,400 even but got back up to $15,000 later. However, this also shows how even more volatile Bitcoin has become so there may be no way of making sure what price we’re going to end up with eventually, that it even stabilizes or not.
As for ripple, will it see the same fate as Bitcoin or will it continue to grow steadily and find a better future than Bitcoin?
Nothing is certain, we can never tell for sure.
Some experts say that Bitcoin will fall but rise again to even greater heights. With conflicting opinions and an extremely volatile crypto market, the only thing we can do is observe, analyze and speculate further on the future of cryptocurrency in general, apart from Bitcoin.