Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news round-up: 15 January 2018

Harry Tucker 15 January 2018

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What you need to know

The entire cryptocurrency industry seems to be correcting itself, Bitfinex has opened its registrations again, and the central bank of Indonesia has warned against all crypto use.

1. The cryptocurrency market is in the red

Only 3 of the top 20 coins have posted a positive growth in the last 24 hours, with the rest of the popular coins and tokens down, according to CoinMarketCap. After the meteoric rise of the altcoin in December, the market over the last week has appeared to settle down for now to start 2018. In terms of overall market cap, in the last 24 hours the market is down around US$30 billion to US$710 billion, and down almost US$90 billion in the last week.

2. Bitfinex has opened its registrations again

Bitfinex has announced a reopening of its new user accounts registration feature, but the provision comes with a new list of requirements.

The reopening announcement includes a disclaimer for new crypto traders, explaining that the platform’s target customers are regional exchanges and pro traders. For this reason, it suggests that new traders start out on other sites and join Bitfinex later.

In order to cater for this adjustment, Bitfinex has a new equity placement requirement for all new registrations. All new accounts created on the site after 1 January 2018 have to place a deposit of US$10,000 or its equivalent in digital currency.

Only after reaching this minimum will any new account be fully activated. After reaching this requirement, the account equity no longer has to be maintained.

3. Indonesia's central bank has warned against crypto

Bank Indonesia issued a press release at the weekend warning its citizens against the risk of cryptocurrency, emphasising that it is not a legitimate form of payment in Indonesia. The bank voiced concerns around its volatility and potential to be used by criminals, saying:

“Virtual currencies are vulnerable to bubble risks and susceptible to be used for money laundering and terrorism financing, therefore can potentially impact financial system stability and cause financial harm to society.”

4. Kraken bitcoin exchange has reopened

Nervous customers can take a sigh of relief after the Kraken exchange reopened over the weekend after being down for two days. Kraken is the fifth-largest crypto exchange by volume in the world, and shut down on Thursday originally for maintenance and a overhaul of its trading system. The upgrades didn't go to plan resulting in the exchange needing two days to complete its maintenance and come back online.

5. Neo is soaring, while the rest of the market is dropping

The so-called "Ethereum of China", Neo, has been hitting new heights despite the bearish nature of the crypto market at the moment. Its price has gone up 15% in the last 24 hours and now has a market cap of over US$10 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. In the last week, its price has risen from US$101 to US$150, an impressive feat considering the current market. A prominent crypto trader on Twitter has also said he believes NEO could hit US$500 this year.

This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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