Having ended 2017 on a positive note, Bitcoin (BTC/USD), the world’s most known cryptocurrency, kicked-off the New Year on the back foot for the first time since 2015. The spot reversed half the Friday’s rebound and flirts with the $13000 mark, down -3.51% on the day, according to the latest available data on coinmarketcap.com.
The renewed sell-off seen in the digital currency can be attributed to the latest reports citing that Australian banks froze accounts tied to cryptocurrencies. Moreover, earlier news that North Korean hackers are hijacking computers to mine cryptocurrencies also fuelled the downside in the prices.
David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan's former director of the Office of Management, warned on cryptos in a CNBC interview, "It's basically a class of really stupid speculators who have convinced themselves that trees grow to the sky. It will burn out in a spectacular crash. All of these latter-day speculators will have their hands burned to a crisp, and they will learn the proper lesson."
Meanwhile, Ripple, the best performing cryptocurrency last week, traded little changed near $ 2.25, having eased from record highs of $ 2.39 reached on Monday. Ethereum, on the other hand, rallied nearly 14% to $ 869.83, with the market capitalization of $ 84.12 billion. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies increased to $ 620 billion, up from around $ 550 billion seen during the last week.
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