Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news round-up: 12 January 2018
What you need to know.
South Korea is maybe, but probably not, banning cryptocurrency; Ripple has signed a deal with Moneygram; and Bitcoin Cash is going against the wider market trend.
1. South Korea probably isn't banning crypto trading
Early yesterday, South Korea's Justice Minister Park Sang-ki announced that the justice ministry is preparing a bill that would ban cryptocurrency trading in South Korea. As a result, the market was sent into freefall for several hours, dropping over US$70 billion before recovering last night.
However, the South Korean Prime Minister's office issued a statement clarifying that the bill Park Sang-ki is floating is just one option the government is considering as a measure to crack down on the crypto industry and has by no means been confirmed.
Even if the bill did get put to parliament, it would need a majority vote of the National Assembly which could take anywhere from a few months to a year.
2. While bitcoin is crashing, Bitcoin Cash is rising
In the last month, bitcoin has dropped over 35% from its high of roughly US$20,000 to now sit slightly above US$13,000. In the last 24 hours alone, it has fallen over 10%. Although it's dropped 15% in the last 24 hours due to some congestion issues, Bitcoin Cash seems to be on trend to hit US$3000 in the next month as it slowly rises.
It will be interesting to see how far it goes and how impending BTC updates such as lightning affect Bitcoin Cash.
3. Ripple has signed a deal with Moneygram
Blockchain company Ripple has teamed with international currency transfers firm MoneyGram to utilize its XRP token in their payment flows. MoneyGram will pilot XRP through xRapid, Ripple’s on-demand liquidity solution.
Generally, payments into emerging markets often require pre-funded local currency accounts, meaning liquidity costs are high. Ripple’s xRapid solution lowers the capital requirements for liquidity by sourcing XRP.
4. Stellar Lumens has partnered with Pundi X in Indonesia
Stellar Lumens, the hard fork of Ripple that focuses on developing nations, has ramped up its focus in the Indonesian market with a new partnership with Indonesian point of sales company Pundi X. The agreement says that Pundi X will be the anchor for the local currency, making it possible for business operators to make cross-border payments at better rates.
5. Aigang token is joining KuCoin
The Aigang token (AIX) has been added to the growing list of tradable currencies on the Chinese exchange site. Traders on the platform will have access to two major trading pairs for the currency once it lists: AIX/ETH and AIX/BTC.
Aigang is a relatively new arrival on the cryptocurrency scene and offers a blockchain solution for the insurance industry, incorporating support for smart contracts. It aims to demystify the insurance process so that traders can get involved in the sector using a peer-to-peer model.