Bitcoin Price Stalls, World Leaders In Davos Talk Regulating Crypto. Cryptocurrency markets were mostly quiet even as leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, spoke out about the need to regulate cryptocurrencies.
The price of a single bitcoin mostly hovered in the range between $11,000 and $12,000 in the last 24 hours. At 13:57 UTC, the price of a single bitcoin was $11,233.86, down 1.51% from 24 hours ago. Bitcoin had reached a high of $11,695.92 earlier this morning.
Ripple’s problems continued to multiply after Bloomberg published a report claiming that banks were not interested in its coin, XRP. As of this writing, XRP was down by 4.5% from a day ago and is trading at $1.33. It has declined by 41.1% from the start of this year.
Stellar, which shares its underlying technology with Ripple, has moved in the opposite direction. With an increase of 10.5% from its price 24 hours ago, it was the biggest gainer among the top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies. The valuation for cryptocurrency markets was $554.4 billion at 14:06 UTC.
Davos and Regulation In China
Cryptocurrencies were a hot topic of conversation among prominent bankers and politicians gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated his earlier stance, saying he was mainly interested in preventing bitcoin from being used for “illicit purposes.”
IMF Chief Christine Lagarde shared Mnuchin’s concerns. “The fact that the anonymity, the lack of transparency and the way in which it conceals and protects money-laundering and financing of terrorism and all sorts of dark trades, is just not acceptable,” Lagarde said. Similarly, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said she would look closely at bitcoin and cryptocurrencies “because of the way they are used, particularly by criminals.”
Bankers came out on the side of blockchain technology, which they said had wide applications in the financial services industry. For example, BlackRock chairman Larry Fink said that blockchain technology was “real and it’s going to transform how we do our businesses, and we should not turn our backs on it.”
Meanwhile, Yang Dong, director of the Center for Financial Technology in China, provided a hint of the form that regulations might take in China, a country that was the world’s largest trading venue for cryptocurrencies until last year. He said ICOs may be regulated as securities or programs for equity crowdfunding. According to him, an equity crowdfunding pilot program may be launched by the China Security Regulatory Commission in the future.
Increased regulation of cryptocurrencies is expected to bring more institutional traders to their fold, thereby reducing price volatility and attracting common investors. It will also weed out bad players from the ecosystem. However, it could also spell an end to innovation within the nascent industry.
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