CryptoWatch: Bitcoin tumbles 10% as South Korea moves to curb crypto trade

Bitcoin prices plunged on Thursday, with spot prices erasing more than $1,500 after South Korea announced tougher measures to crack down on cryptocurrencies trade.

Prices on CoinDesk tumbled $1,552.39, or 10%, to $13,825.89, trimming its market cap to $232 billion. Just 11 days ago, the currency BTCUSD, -8.59%  traded at almost $20,000 after a one-month buying frenzy that sent it up more than 1,800% on the year, fueling fears of a speculative bubble.

January futures BTCF8, -6.47%  dropped $1,120, or 7.6%, to $13,570 on the CME Group Inc. Thursday, extending their weekly loss to 11.5%.

The sharp losses on Thursday came after South Korea’s government proposed new legislation that will ban the use of anonymous cryptocurrency accounts starting next month and shut down the country’s bitcoin exchanges. The move is seen as a further step in attempting to curb widespread speculation in the bitcoin market.

“The reality is that the market is way too overheated and no one wants the cryptocurrency popping on their door steps. However, this is surely not the first time that we have witnessed this kind of reaction in the bitcoin price. Throughout this years, we have heard many similar messages (followed by actions) from China and yet bitcoin made a high of $19,338,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets, in a note.

Read: Bitcoin bull John McAfee urges cryptocurrency investors to hold on

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