Bitcoin is currently priced at $8,163, after dropping from $8,535 at the start of the day.
This comes as South Korea and France are taking steps towards further integration of cryptocurrencies into everyday finance.
Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister has revealed plans on creating legal framework for initial coin offerings (ICO) with the wish of becoming a leading ICO hub.
Mr Le Maire in a recent opinion piece with French website, Numerama said he asked former central bank official Jean-Pierre Landau to draft a proposal for a legislative framework on cryptos.
In the article he said: “France has every interest in becoming the first major financial center to propose an ad hoc legislative framework for companies making an initial coin offering.”
At the same time, South Korea’s Upbit a crypto exchange is launching the country’s first cryptocurrency index. The hope is that this index will help individuals who invest in crypto better understand overall market trends.
Dunamu, is the operator behind Upbit, which is also backed by local mobile messaging giant Kakao.
Song Chi-hyung, CEO of Dunamu said: “There is high interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain in Korea. And now is a pivotal opportunity for Korea to become the global mecca of blockchain-based technologies.”
They have also pledged £65.1million towards blockchain technologies over the next three years.
7.40am MORNING HEADLINES
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of all things cryptocurrency, including price, regulation, innovation and financial crime.
Bitcoin is priced at $8,448 on the day so far, a fall of just $1.48.
Ethereum remains down at $522, and Ripple is priced at $0.63.
Although Asia remains the global hotspot for crypto activity, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, and other African nations are becoming increasingly important as a new body of genuine users of the digital assets as a currency.
With Africa’s currencies even more volatile than Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies offer financial stability and the ability to store and exchange value of something independent to the politics in their home country.
Paxful, an exchange in Africa, told Bitcoinist that for many African countries, bitcoin is the stable, sensible option.
Co-founder Ray Youssef said: “Africans are converting their savings into crypto to preserve their wealth from hyperinflation. Nigeria’s fiat currency, Naira, has lost 90 percent of its value when compared to the USD and EUR in the past two years alone. Meanwhile, bitcoin rose over 1,000 percent in 2017.
Updates below throughout the day….
World Cup winner Steve Thompson in 2003
12.00pm – UPDATE – Rugby World Cup Winner backs crypto
As the UK catches up with the string of celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements seen in the US, Rugby World Cup-winner Steve Thompson has been announced as Global Ambassador of BRICBIT, a newly launched London Property Cryptocurrency.
England’s 2003 World Cup winning hooker said: “London property is a truly global asset. What the team at Bricbit have created is a game changer; all the benefits of property ownership with none of the hassles, it’s the future of property investment.
“Bricbit brings together the new and future technology of the blockchain, with a globally recognised and understood hard asset-class in London Property, the security this gives along with the significant upside and capital growth probability is what really attracted me to become involved at Bricbit.”
11.05am – UPDATE – Big predictions for Bitcoin Cash as ETH falls away
A new report, Cryptocurrencies: Past, Present and Future points towards a rise in Bitcoin Cash and a fall in Ethereum over the coming month.
The report claims that by using historical data and a “data-driven algorithm” they expect Bitcoin Cash to hit “$2000 per unit by May 2018 – that’s a 130 percent jump in price!”
The research is less optimistic about Ethereum, which they say, “will plummet by more than $237 per unit in the next month or so.”
The report also uses Google Trends data to help assess the online popularity of each cryptocurrency.
The report claims that NEO has pipped Bitcoin Cash to the post with the highest search volume both historically and projected in the future, topping even the most well known of cryptocurrencies at a predicted 268 percent interest.
Bitcoin price LIVE: BTC down as cold snap ends
9.27am – UPDATE – Law firms eye blockchain tech
The FT report that the world’s top law firms are looking to cash in on the mania for blockchain and cryptocurrencies by offering to advise clients on initial coin offerings.
UK, US and European firms including Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, Latham & Watkins and Cooley are among those advising on ICOs, which involve a start-up company issuing “digital tokens” to investors in exchange for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
8.25am – UPDATE – ‘Investors need to broaden their outlook’
Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group has predicted that demand for cryptocurrencies continues to grow in 2018.
The deVere CEO said: “As with all types of investing, diversification is the investor’s best tool to mitigate potential risks and to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
“Despite Bitcoin’s show-stopping performance in 2017 (1,300 per cent), it underperformed its lesser known rivals, such as Ethereum (8,500 per cent) and Ripple (30,000 per cent).
“As such, I would urge cryptocurrency investors to be diversified across the main digital tokens. By not doing so, they are exposing themselves to unnecessary risk and cutting off key opportunities. ”