Investing.com - The price of digital currency bitcoin along with other cryptocurrencies extended a broad based selloff into a second day on Wednesday amid fears of a wider trading crackdown triggered by the threat of a trading ban in South Korea.
Bitcoin was trading at $10,460 by 03:31 AM ET (08:31 AM GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, down 13% from its previous close, after losing 18% on Tuesday.
Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was last at $946.40 on the Bitfinex exchange after falling 19% the previous day.
Meanwhile, Ripple's XRP token was trading at $1.08 on the Poloniex exchange, down around 24% for the day.
That pushed ethereum’s market capitalization down to $96 billion and lowered ripple’s value to $45 billion. Bitcoin remained the largest cryptocurrency by market cap with a value of $184 billion.
Cryptocurrencies have experienced a volatile start to 2018 after a massive rally last year as worries over increased regulatory scrutiny hit investor sentiment.
Reports that South Korea and China could ban cryptocurrency trading have sparked fears of a wider crackdown by regulators.
Cryptocurrency prices plunged late last week following reports that South Korea may be preparing to ban trading of virtual currencies on domestic exchanges.
The country is one is one of the largest markets for major coins like bitcoin and ethereum.
South Korea’s Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said Tuesday that banning trading in digital currencies was “a live option”.
Cryptocurrency trading in South Korea is highly speculative and digital currencies are often traded at a premium, meaning that they are priced significantly higher in the country's exchanges than elsewhere in the world.
South Korea’s unease over cryptocurrency trading follows drastic moves taken by China, which shuttered cryptocurrency exchanges last year.