As the broader cryptocurrency markets have been cratering, Bitcoin has managed to retain much of its value.
These widespread declines have taken place after it was reported that South Korean authorities raided UPbit, the nation’s largest digital currency exchange.
[Ed. note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.]
Every one of the top 25 digital currencies (ranked by total market value) was in the red at the time of this writing, according to CoinMarketCap data.
While Bitcoin had fallen 8.2% over the last 24 hours, several major cryptocurrencies had suffered losses close to twice that high.
Stellar, Cardano and EOS, for example, were all down at least 16%, additional CoinMarketCap figures show.
Ripple’s XRP token and Bitcoin Cash, while not as far in the red, had dropped 12.8% and 13.8%, respectively.
South Korea Leads The Decline
Several analysts confirmed that the UPBit raid was the driving force behind today’s crypto losses.
“The main reason seems to be Upbit news,” said digital currency investor Marius Rupsys.
“Most are talking about it and if you look at prices in Korean exchanges, they are leading the drop.”
This isn’t the first time that South Korean raids have caused crypto prices to fall, emphasized Joe DiPasquale, CEO of cryptocurrency fund of hedge funds BitBull Capital.
“The last time South Korea raided their ‘top exchanges’ was on January 10th, and Bitcoin’s spot price saw a -7% decline on intraday trading that day as well,” he noted.
He added that:
As is so often the case, an event that should rightfully cause turbulence in a specific region seems to be creating shockwaves globally. The Upbit raid is not the first of its kind, and the markets overreacted in past similar instances as well. As the market continues to mature, these events should grow fewer and farther between, and investors will grow thicker skin.
Bitcoin was able to hold up better than many other digital currencies because it is more established than its peers, claimed several analysts.
“BTC is the anchor crypto that all other cryptos are tied to in terms of price,” stated Shone Anstey, co-Founder of Blockchain Intelligence Group.
“Bitcoin is the most stable and dominant cryptocurrency with the largest network effect. Bitcoin is the one to watch, since if it fails they all fail.”
Disclosure: I own some Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ether.