Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum Slump As CoinMarketCap Kicks Off Korean Exchanges

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When Benzinga asked traders about a handful of alternatives to bitcoin, Ripple was the top choice for investors in 2018. This makes it impossible to value using conventional metrics and therefore could be worthless, or may rise to $5 per Ripple coin in the future. Just within 24 hours after CoinMarketCap, a leading global index of digital currency prices, adjusted its listed data by removing a group of Korean cryptocurrency exchanges from its price calculations, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization crashed by more than $150 billion.

"Every crypto is priced at a 30 percent premium in South Korea", Greg Dwyer, head of business development at cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMex, told Reuters. Prices continued to drop in what could have been fear-induced sell offs, before the crypto universe's market cap bottomed out at $668.7 billion. Bitcoin values also fell roughly 7.6% to $15,000, while Ethereum prices rose slightly, 2.5% to $1,155. It fell to a one-week low below $14,000.

On Monday, South Korean regulators inspected six local banks that offered cryptocurrency accounts to see if they were observing anti-money laundering rules.

Market participants said CoinMarketCap removed data without any explanation from three of the largest South Korean exchanges: Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit.

I think it was a fair move by CoinMarketCap to exclude the Korean exchanges.

Then, CoinMarketCap, a major source of information in the crypto world, made a decision to remove data from South Korean exchanges in its calculation of asset prices.

Cryptocurrencies trade at a premium in South Korea because "it's very hard to get cash out of the country", Dwyer explained.

'Anyone looking to take advantage of an arbitrage in South Korea needs to do it with fiat currencies'.

At one point overnight, XRP was trading at an average of $3.93 on South Korean exchanges - 38% above the token's current price of $2.43, according to Markets Insider.

The year 2017 may forever be known on Wall Street as the year of bitcoin.

Volatility is certainly significantly greater than the more traditional asset classes and with it, the bad news swings continue to be more significant.