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Crypto coins plunge amid growing bubble fears

An electronic board displays the price of Bitcoin at crypto exchange Upbit in Seoul. (Yonhap)
An electronic board displays the price of Bitcoin at crypto exchange Upbit in Seoul. (Yonhap)


Most cryptocurrencies have fallen significantly and a few, including Bitcoin and Dogecoin, have nose-dived more than 10 percent amid rising concerns over a potential bubble burst.

Bitcoin, the world’s latest cryptocurrency, saw its price drop 12.08 percent Thursday, continuing a downward trend that started after it hit a high of 81,994,000 won ($73,243) on April 14, according to local crypto exchange Upbit.

Dogecoin, which benefited from the enthusiasm of electric carmaker Tesla CEO Elon Musk, tanked 22.42 percent to 301 won Thursday after a 23 percent drop Tuesday.

The coins further dropped on Friday with Bitcoin and Dodgecoin falling to a low of 54,964,000 won and 198 won, respectively, on Friday.

Most coins have seen their value slide in the past week or so, as state authorities and some market watchers are increasingly sounding the alarm over the overheated crypto market.

“Crypto coins have no intrinsic value, as Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol and other top government officials keep saying. Individuals will also have to bear the brunt of price drops without being properly protected by state regulators,” said Lim Jong-in, the dean of the Graduate School of Information Security at Korea University, likening the recent buying spree to the tulipomania of the 17th-century Netherlands.

Eun Seong-soo, chairman of the financial watchdog Financial Services Commission, said in a meeting Thursday that cryptocurrency investors could not be protected by law.

“The government does not cover financial losses of individuals’ investment in art pieces,” said Eun. “In the same sense, I do not support the idea that the government needs to protect crypto investors.”

He also warned that some 200 local crypto exchanges operating in South Korea could face shutdown later this year unless they registered with the FSS.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)
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