By Gaurav S. Iyer, IFC Published : March 22, 2018
Ripple News Update
Ripple prices are down on Thursday, most likely as a result of the market-wide slump in cryptocurrency prices. But even without the macro pessimism, South Korea’s ongoing regulatory pressure might have held down XRP prices anyways.
What am I talking about?
Well, in January, the Korean government banned anonymous cryptocurrency trading. At first, it looked like officials might actually ban trading completely, but a public backlash forced the government to scale back its efforts.
So, Korean regulators settled on a compromise. Cryptocurrency exchanges and the banks that associate with them would have to follow anti-money laundering rules to stem the flow of black market funds. This means tying your real name to your cryptocurrency trading account.
Some reports suggest that $600.0 million worth of illicit money was used in cryptocurrency trading. Naturally, the government wants to discourage that activity. But for cryptocurrency traders, the loss of anonymity is a huge blow.
Ripple was particularly affected by this news because XRP trading volumes are heavily concentrated in the Korean peninsula. In fact, the Korean dilemma is what snapped XRP’s bullish run in December and January. The price has been in a downward spiral since then.
I know what you’re thinking. Okay, but isn’t this old news?
The reason I’m bringing it up is because Korea is about to audit the banks that do business with cryptocurrency exchanges. Officials want to ensure that Know-Your-Customer laws (KYC) have been implemented properly, which means that any loopholes made to keep anonymity are about to be closed.
Given that Korean traders still make up roughly 42% of XRP’s trading volume, a sudden pullback of activity in that quarter could hurt Ripple prices some more.
Two months ago, I wrote that 2018 would be a grueling year for cryptocurrencies. I wrote that XRP, in particular, would face extreme volatility. What I failed to mention is that keeping that perspective through the down cycles is a matter of character.
The truth is, I still believe in the bullish case for XRP. Therefore, it would be silly for me to alter our $10.00 Ripple price prediction.