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Latest News on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and other Cryptocurrencies Today

Why Is South Korea Spooking the Global Bitcoin Market? (The New York Times)
SEOUL, South Korea — The world of Bitcoin — rarely free of wild ups and downs of late — has been rattled this week by word that South Korea is preparing a ban on trading in virtual currencies. The question is how real that threat might be. South Koreans have taken to digital tokens with fervor. The worldwide virtual currency boom that started last year has swept up savers young and old in South Korea, helping push up global prices.

Can Facebook (FB) Make Cryptocurrency More Mainstream? (Nasdaq.com)
With more than two billion daily active users on its platform, spanning virtually every country with a decent internet connection, it’s safe to say Facebook (FB) has achieved its goal of connecting the world. But as he has done every year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has sought out new challenges and important topics to address. This year, in addition to the proliferation of hate speech and misinformation on Facebook, Zuckerberg wants to tackle the polarizing subject of cryptocurrency, particularly bitcoin, which has taken the world by storm.

Pixabay/Public Domain

Pixabay/Public Domain

Here’s Why Bitcoin Should Be Terrified of Ripple (The Motley Fool)
For the better part of a year now, the cryptocurrency market has been a practically unstoppable force. When 2017 began, the aggregate value of every investable virtual currency combined was only $17.7 billion. However, as recently as the first week of January, this combined valuation had peaked at almost $836 billion. This 4,500%-plus increase in cryptocurrency market value over a span of 53 weeks is unlike anything investors have ever witnessed before.

KFC Will Now Let You Buy Fried Chicken Using The Cryptocurrency Bitcoin (Metro.co.uk)
Kentucky Fried Chicken has begun selling a ‘Bitcoin Bucket’ which can only be bought using the cryptocurrency. The fast-food chain has started allowing Canadian customers to order deliveries using the digital dosh. KFC Canada has also launched its own real-time price tracker on Facebook, which shows the current price of a poultry pail in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple cryptocurrencies face MP probe over fears investors could lose EVERYTHING to fraudsters (The Sun)
BITCOIN faces a probe by MPs over fears that investors could lose EVERYTHING – and be at risk of fraud. Treasury chairman Nicky Morgan said that UK politicians will be looking into cryptocurrencies in future after warnings from the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority. Bitcoin is a virtual currency that was created in 2009 – and the total value of all Bitcoin in existence is now more than £185 billion. Its price has soared around 1500 per cent over the past year or so – attracting millions to buy parts of the currency online – but has taken a tumble since last month.

Ukraine to Set Up Working Group on Cryptocurrency Regulation (Cryptovest.com)
The government of Ukraine is forming a working group which will be tasked with developing proposals for cryptocurrency regulation. As per a statement issued by the government, the formation of the working group was proposed at a meeting of the National Cybersecurity Coordination Center. Meeting attendees noted that there were multiple problems associated with the unregulated circulation of digital currencies in Ukraine. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, coupled with their anonymity and the lack of both external and internal regulation, meant that they could be used in potentially illicit activities, such as the purchase of drugs and weapons, and terrorism financing (especially in occupied territories).

Bitcoin Price LIVE: Ripple Returns to $2 as Bitcoin Suffers Electric SHOCK (Express.co.uk)
After threats of a ban in South Korea, problems at the Microsoft store and news that Ripple signed a partnership with rival ripple, it has been a week to forget for bitcoin. However… “Lightning will mark the biggest ever change to bitcoin’s workings and use potential,” read more here. The coin price is down at $13,866 (£10,142). Ethereum is $1,281 (£937). Ripple is at $2.08.

New Data Shows Coinbase May Be Spamming The Bitcoin Network (Bitcoinist.com)
As the company continues to suffer technical outages due to high demand, its effect on the Bitcoin mempool has become the source of renewed calls for SegWit as a priority. “You need to batch your outgoing transactions,” Twitter user Civ Ekonom wrote in response to Coinbase’s latest reported system breakdown. You are ALONE spamming the network. If you would use segwit and batch all outgoing transactions the mempool would be EMPTY.

Japan Has A New Cryptocurrency-Themed J-Pop Band (The Verge)
If you prefer your J-pop bands to be a little bit more blockchain-y, we’ve got some great news! A new J-pop girl group from Japan is capitalizing on the recent hype surrounding bitcoin and singing about cryptocurrencies, as spotted by Quartz. The group’s name is Kasotsuka Shojo, which translates as Virtual Currency Girls. Each one of the eight members represents a different cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Cardano. The women are outfitted in maid dresses and lucha libre-style masks that denote the currency they represent.

No Cryptocurrency Ban: South Korea Backtracks After Wave of Criticism (RT.com)
There will be no cryptocurrency trading ban in the short-term in South Korea, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. The announcement contradicts an earlier statement from the Ministry of Justice, which had prompted a mass sell-off. “All government ministries agree on the need for a government response to an overheating in cryptocurrency speculation and for a degree of regulation,” FInance Minister Kim Dong-yeon told reporters, as quoted by the news agency Yonhap. “The issue of banning exchanges that the justice minister talked about yesterday is a proposal by the Justice Ministry and it needs more coordination among ministries,” Kim added.

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