Cryptocurrencies Mixed; Bithumb Halts Opening of New Accounts

Aug 02, 2018

Cryptocurrencies prices were mixed on Thursday. Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest digital asset exchanges, will stop creating new accounts due to partnership problems with local banks in the country, reports on Thursday revealed.

Bitcoin went down by 0.06% to $7,691 at 10:37PM GM (02:37 EMT) on the Bitifinex exchange.

Ethereum also traded in red with 1.96% decline to $422.73 on the Bitifinex exchange.

Ripple, however, increased by 3.24% to $0.44671 on the Poloniex exchange, while Litecoin remained unchanged at $78.122 on the Bitifinex exchange.

Bithumb is reportedly halting the opening of new accounts as it could not renew its contract with Korean banks amidst allegations of tax evasion and undesirable business practices.

In Korea, cryptocurrency exchanges are legally required to partner with banks to implement a real name system for opening new accounts, in a bid to preventing money laundering.

NH Nonghyup Bank, one of the banks that refused to renew Bithumb’s contract, said, “We have decided not to renew the contract because Bithumb still has problems in protecting consumers and information and preventing money laundering.”

Separately, the European Commission’s blockchain advisory body published its first report analyzing the blockchain industry on Wednesday, warning EU’s legal and regulatory uncertainty could stop cryptocurrency development and the EU’s leading role in innovation.

It said in the report, “Entrepreneurs understandably fear investing heavily in products only to find that what they have done is not compliant, potentially exposing them to financial or even criminal penalties. This is a serious issue.”

In other news, the U.S. also released a report earlier this week concerning blockchain issues. The report highlighted the government’s support in new innovations and its plan to regulate the currency.

The U.S. Treasury Department stated in the report, “Treasury supports encouraging the launch of new business models…to pursue innovative technologies to lower costs, improve customer outcomes, and improve access to credit and other services.”

Elsewhere, fast food chain McDonald’s in the U.S. released its own cryptocurrency on Thursday, the MacCoin, to celebrate BigMac’s 50th anniversary, after Burger King in Russia released its crytpo-WhopperCoin in 2017.