Bitcoin price down 12%. Bitcoin Cash surges 58% – December 19

Bitcoin price had been declining throughout the day. The prices dropped by $1,500 in the past four hours – a decline of 12% in the past 24 hours. At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency is trading at $16,842, posting a market cap of $297 billion.

It is not immediately clear why the price of Bitcoin declined, but there are several potential factors. For instance, South Korean exchange Youbit got hacked and its parent company filed for bankruptcy could have triggered a sell-off. However, Youbit plays a minor role as compared to the global cryptocurrency ecosystem, so its closure should not have a significant effect on the price of Bitcoin.

A more likely scenario is that Bitcoin’s early-week decline could have spooked wealthy investors with weak hands to take profits while they can, fearing Bitcoin price volatility. These investors could also be rebalancing capital to stake stronger positions in the altcoin markets.

As a result, alternate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash surged to an all-time high of $3,453, posting a market cap of $58 billion. Not only did Bitcoin payment service BitPay announced that it will begin accepting payments in BCH, Coinbase also listed allowed Bitcoin Cash trading within a few hours.

Ethereum price that was hovering around $400 for the longest time registered an all-time high of $882, into a $79.5 billion market cap and represents a 24-hour gain of 12 percent. This rise of altcoins has lead Bitcoin’s dominance on the crypto market to slip below 48%.

Top Stories from the Crypto World

1. Bitcoin isn’t a credible currency yet, says Japan’s Finance Minister

Japanese finance minister Taro Aso claimed Bitcoin is yet to be proven as a credible currency in society before admitting that he would watch its progress in the future.

“There’s no fixed definition on whether it’s a currency or not. This issue is a difficult one…It has not yet been proven to be credible enough to become a currency, so I need to watch [bitcoin] for a little while more.” Taro said.

A good thing to know: Japan is among the earliest countries in the world to recognize and acknowledge bitcoin as a legal method of payment, following legislation that kicked in earlier this year.

2. Investors commit $100 million to Overstock’s tZERO token sale

The first leg of the token sale in which the firm is selling Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs) that will later be redeemed for tokens by accredited investors – began yesterday – after some hiccups. CEO Patrick Byrne indicated the company may move to shorten the initial two-month timeframe for the token sale.

“We had, yesterday, 2,000 accredited investors come and apply and get the process going,” he said, adding that he had taken several phone calls from investors himself. Some of the offers, he said, were as high as $5 million or more for single token allocations.

tZERO is an alternative trading system (ATS) or dark pool that’s registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The trading system grew out of the Medici blockchain effort within online retail giant Overstock, an initiative that dates back to 2014 and is aimed at creating a wholly new kind of trading environment based on a blockchain.

3. Bitcoin isn’t a currency, won’t be regulated: South Korean Financial Regulator

The head of South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) revealed no intention to regulate the trading of cryptocurrencies in the country. The primary reason, according to authority’s governor, is the lack of recognition of cryptocurrencies as money substitutes.

FSS governor Choe Heung-sik said, “All we can do is to warn people as we don’t see virtual currencies as actual types of currency, meaning that we cannot step up regulation for now.”