Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news round-up: 29 December 2017
What to know today
South Korea is cracking down on its local crypto exchanges, Ripple keeps hitting new highs and Ethereum's founder has threatened to leave the community if it doesn't clean up its act.
1. South Korea is regulating its cryptocurrency industry
South Korea announced this morning that it's cracking down big time on the local crypto industry to help stabilise speculative trading.
New regulations will see local exchanges banned from issuing new trading accounts. If an exchange continues to issue accounts, the government says it will shut it down. It also said it would monitor local banks and limit the funds that flow into cryptocurrency exchanges if it needs to.
These new rules will take effect in January, with South Korea also introducing a new rule where traders must now use their real name, banning anonymous trading.
2. SegWit2X is not the same as the original
The SegWit2X hard fork took place earlier today. However, it's not the same technology as the original fork that was meant to take place last month and was cancelled. The fork took place today on block number 501451.
While it shares its name with the original SegWit2X, that's where the similarities end. None of the original development team are involved in the new version, nor are the majority of bitcoin developers and exchanges that announced they would support the original fork.
On top of that, there isn't much information available online about the founders, except a few half empty LinkedIn profiles. The GitHub code for B2X also revealed that the founders were assigning themselves around 6 million of the premined coins or almost 30% of the total 21 million.
3. Ethereum's founder has threatened to quit if the community "doesn't grow up"
Vitalik Buterin, the 23-year-old founder of Ethereum, has slammed the crypto community on Twitter saying that too many people are interested in just getting rich quick, rather than moving the technology forward for good.
He tweeted that: "All crypto communities, ethereum included, should heed these words of warning. Need to differentiate between getting hundreds of billions of dollars of digital paper wealth sloshing around and actually achieving something meaningful for society."
Adding, "If all that we accomplish is lambo memes and immature puns about 'sharting', then I WILL leave. Though I still have a lot of hope that the community can steer in the right direction."
4. Some of crypto's biggest exchanges have stopped taking new accounts because they couldn't keep up with demand
Bitfinex says it will be accepting accounts again from 15 January, while the other two haven't specified when they will reopen accounts.
Twenty-four hour trade volume on the cryptocurrency market was around $50 billion in mid-December, which is on par with the New York Stock Exchange.
5. Ripple's price continues to rise
Following news yesterday that several Asian companies are considering using the currency service, its price has hit an all-time high of US$1.55. In the past 30 days, Ripple's price has gone up 600% from the US$0.25 it was sitting at during the end of November.
6. Bitcoin's market dominance is shrinking
Bitcoin's crypto market share has dropped to a new low, hitting 42% earlier today based on total market capitalisation of the industry. The market cap as a whole has shrunk in the last week, too, going down from US$600 billion to US$550 billion.