Ever since bitcoin reached a peak of almost US$20,000 at the end of last year, cryptocurrencies have been dominating the headlines - from news of governments trying to figure out and regulate them to hackers attempting to hack into coin exchanges.
South Korea is preparing to shut down cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, its justice minister warned Thursday, sending prices of bitcoin and other virtual units into a tailspin.
Elaine Ou, a blockchain engineer and Bloomberg View columnist, answered questions about cryptocurrencies from Bloomberg Terminal customers in a TOPLive chat on Tuesday with Julie Verhage, who covers markets for Bloomberg News.
Singapore doesn’t plan to regulate cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but will remain alert to money laundering and other potential risks stemming from their use, the head of the country’s central bank said.
Due to their unregulated nature, cryptocurrencies and the businesses that they have created occupy a grey area in Southeast Asia. However, they have undoubtedly become a major focus area for ASEAN businesses.
Singapore banks have closed accounts of several companies which specialise in providing cryptocurrency and payments services, according to two local bodies which represent financial-technology firms.
China plans to ban trading of bitcoin and other virtual currencies on domestic exchanges, dealing another blow to the 150 billion dollars cryptocurrency market after the country outlawed initial coin offerings last week.