The cryptocurrency market resumed its upward swing Saturday after days of floundering. The market has been in the red for a good part of the new year amid uncertainty over the future of the sector. False reports that South Korea was banning trading hit the market hard with coins dipping more than 20%.
The recent dip saw a total of $100bn in value erased with total market cap dropping to about $630bn. The recent losses have all but been recovered in the latest run at about $725bn.
Whats Caused Ripples Sell Off?
Ripple which is particularly popular in South Korea was the biggest casualty. CoinMarketCap’s decision to remove South Korean exchanges from its calculations made the losses look significant sparking a frenzy for the exit. It spiked about 18% on early Saturday trading before levelling and finally losing some of the gains. The surge was helped by the announcement of a partnership with MoneyGram. Ripple is now trading just below $2 on bitfinex.
The cryptocurrency which is tailored for faster and cheaper payment transfers has now been relegated to third position after it briefly toppled Ethereum from the second spot in an unprecedented surge in the previous weeks.
Total gains on Monday’s trading were in excess of 35%. Most of these gains were in the altcoin market with the market leader bitcoin gaining marginally at about 5%. BTG was the biggest gainer at a staggering 59%.
Others that made significant gains include EOS and Ethereum classic at 12% and 10% respectively. NEO resumed its march with a 14% increase in value. The cryptocurrency now sells for $137 on bitfinex, the largest cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong.
Other gainers include Qash at 11.5%, Qtum, Spankchain, YOYOW at 6%, 8% and 12% respectively. OmiseGo and Monero also climbed 10% and 8% respectively.
Stellar which is now ranked 8th by market capitalisation was also one of the biggest gainers after Brian Kelly, a bitcoin investor predicted its rise. News of an imminent secret announcement in South Korea appeared to have also catapulted 10th place EOS.
It was not all good news however.
ICON made losses of about 3% to sell at about $9.45.
Positive news that Russia was also planning to allow bitcoin trading on certain exchanges might have also contributed to an overall positive feel in the market. The finance ministry there reported the bill was in its final stages and it is expected to come into force by March.
The South Korean justice ministry also appeared to soften its stance after it said it was holding more consultations with other ministries.
“All government ministries agree on the need for a government response to an overheating in cryptocurrency speculation and for a degree of regulation,” Kim Dong-yeon, a minister told Yonhap.
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He noted the relevance of the blockchain technology to certain industries but decried the unhealthy speculative behaviour. Cryptocurrency trading is at fever pitch in the country. News of digital currencies is mostly spread by word of mouth to family and friends and a significant part of the population is now engaged in the activity.