The world’s biggest cryptocurrencies were at fresh lows this morning, following a downward trend in value in recent weeks.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin – the largest currencies by market share – were all in the red at the time of writing.
Facebook said there are many companies advertising binary options, ICOs, and cryptocurrencies that are “not currently operating in good faith”.
Scams and regulation
The cryptocurrency market – and Bitcoin in particular – has been hit by several large scams in recent months.
This includes the collapse of BitConnect, which was called “cryptocurrency’s biggest scam”, and the disappearance of BTC Global’s “master trader” Steven Twain.
BTC Global’s implosion hit closer to home for many compared to BitConnect, with the Hawks stating that multiple South Africans lost substantial amounts of money in the scam.
The cryptographic nature of tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum means fraudsters can exploit the currencies for illegal gains, which is among the reasons national governments are looking to regulate the market.
According to a recent article by Bloomberg, countries with a big influence on the cryptocurrency market are looking to crack down on the systems – which has created concern among investors.
China, previously a global hub for cryptocurrency trading, now leads the world in cracking down on it.
“It has outlawed digital-asset exchanges and ICOs, blocked online access to overseas trading platforms, and cut off power to Bitcoin miners,” stated Bloomberg.
South Korea is also tightening oversight, as it works on “a comprehensive set of regulations”.
In India, the government said it doesn’t consider digital currencies to be legal tender and will curb their use.
The situation in the United States is currently described as a “legal grey area”, however.
The country’s Securities and Exchange Commission is analysing ICOs, cryptocurrency hedge funds, and exchanges – but has not detailed how it plans to crack down on them.
Canada’s regulators have stated that products linked to cryptocurrencies should be considered high-risk.
The hard stances taken by governments has resulted in money exiting the cryptocurrency market – as the future of the tokens is uncertain.
On the morning of 27 March, the top five cryptocurrencies by market share had continued their drop in value – a trend which started at the end of 2017.
Bitcoin had dropped to below $7,850, which is well below its peak of almost $20,000 in mid-December 2017.
The prices of the top five cryptocurrencies are listed below. Pricing information was taken from CoinDesk.
Bitcoin – $7,980
Bitcoin reached highs of $19,600 on 17 December 2017.
Ethereum – $465
Ethereum reached highs of $1,400 on 10 January 2018.
Bitcoin Cash – $908
Bitcoin Cash reached highs of $3,900 on 20 December 2017.
Litecoin – $141
Litecoin reached highs of $355 on 19 December 2017.
Ripple – $0.58
Ripple reached highs of $3.49 on 4 January 2018.