Ripple, Bitcoin and Ethereum - Cryptocurrencies Edged High on Thursday

The latest price drop in Bitcoin came in the backdrop of news that more countries led by South Korea and China were looking to step in to regulate trading in cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin, the dominant digital currency, extended a slump today following a recent surge to trade below United States dollars 10,000 for the first time since the start of December. XRP, the native cryptocurrency of start-up Ripple, had enjoyed a month-long string of share price gains until its value sustained a devastating loss of 50 percent on January 16.

Prices of bitcoin and other digital currencies skidded after South Korea's top financial policymaker said Tuesday that a crackdown on trading of cryptocurrencies was still possible.

Bitcoin has been having a very hard month. Cryptocurrency markets in South Korea and Japan are notable in the sense that tokens are generally priced at a premium in those regions, and with regulatory pressure, traders in both countries may have been prompted to sell off.

An online petition on the presidential office's website has drawn more than 210,000 requests from people asking the government not to ban trading in digital currencies.

Bitcoin fell below the US$10,000 level on Wednesday as a selloff continued in cyrptocurrencies amid fears of a regulatory clampdown on the units in various countries including South Korea and China.

U Penn student reportedly stabbed more than 20 times
Blaze Bernstein, right, went to the park with high school friend Samuel Woodward on January 2, authorities said. In one online post, Woodward reportedly wrote "I wouldn't fight anybody unless they attacked me".

While most digital currencies roared into 2018 with a good deal of upward momentum, nearly all of them have deflated somewhat in the early weeks of January.

On Wednesday, bitcoin fell as low as US$9,222 on Bitstamp, its lowest price since December 1, as CBOE and CME bitcoin futures tumbled to contract lows. While there's no immediate reason for today's dip, bitcoin has been falling over the past week.

"Whether the animal spirits have already released their grip, remains to be seen and this can not be ascertained from a two-day slump". The cryptocurrency surged during the year, smashing record after record, but it started 2018 in a downward spiral. As of 12:13 p.m. ET, bitcoin was trading more than 13 percent lower at $11,759.73 a coin, according to CoinDesk.

News has developed in South Korea again, as the nation considers a closure of cryptocurrency exchanges.

A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this illustration taken on December 8, 2017. It's also put blockchain - the software technology enabling Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies - on a trajectory of its own.

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