Cryptocurrency prices have rebounded after the fears of a severe crackdown by South Korean authorities waned as comment's from the country's finance minister suggested that the proposal to ban digital currency exchanges need more consultations and would take lot of time to materialize. Meanwhile, a deal between the blockchain-based payment processing network Ripple and MoneyGram propped up the price of former's native currency Ripple or XRP.
Here is a wrap up of the main news from the crypto market in the last 24 hours.
1. South Korea Seeks To Calm Crypto Crackdown Concerns
South Korea's finance minister on Friday sought to calm the cryptocurrency market after an announcement a day ago that the country's justice ministry was planning a ban on crypto exchanges, sending prices of digital currencies such as Bitcoin sharply lower. "The issue of shutting down exchanges, told by the justice minister yesterday, is a proposal by the justice ministry and it needs consultations among ministries," Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Friday. Justice Minister Park Sang-ki had said on Thursday that his ministry was preparing legislation that bans any transactions based on virtual currencies via exchanges due to grave concerns regarding the excessive exuberance in the cryptocurrency market.
2. Ripple, MoneyGram Tie-up Sends XRP Soaring
US money transfer giant MoneyGram struck a deal with the blockchain-based payment settlement company Ripple to pilot the latter's native currency XRP in MoneyGram payment flows. The price of XRP, popularly known as Ripple, surged as much as 15 percent on the news on Thursday, when most major currencies were down due to fears of a severe crackdown by South Korean authorities. Ripple is the third largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap data. For a brief time in December, XRP had overtaken Ethereum to be the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. As of 6.10 am ET on Friday, XRP was up 17.94 percent at $2.07 with a market cap of $80.06 billion on CoinMarketCap.
3. KFC Canada To Accept Bitcoin For Limited Offer Product
You can now buy Kentucky Fried Chicken in Canada by paying in Bitcoin. The limited time "Bitcoin Bucket" launched by KFC Canada on Thursday is not available over the counter, but via BitPay for home delivery. The product is available at a price equivalent to 20 Canadian dollars in bitcoin. The current price for the product can be calculated through a Facebook-based live-tracker of dollar's exchange rate with bitcoin. KFC Canada will charge an additional $5 fee for the service, according to the check-out process on its website.
4. Ukraine Sets Up Working Group To Develop Crypto Regulation
Ukraine has set up a multi-agency working group, which includes the central bank and the stock market watchdog, to develop legal proposals to regulate the cryptocurrency market. The National Security and Defense Council Chief Oleksandr Turchynov said in a statement that the legal vacuum in the crypto market due to due to lack of legislative and regulatory framework "poses a threat to the economy and security of the state". In December, an executive of the cryptocurrency firm Exmo was kidnapped in Ukraine and was released on payment of $1 million in bitcoins.
5. Line, Japan's Most Popular Chat App, Goes The Crypto Way
Japan's leading messaging app provider Line Corp. is planning to integrate cryptocurrencies into its messaging platform, Bloomberg reported this week, citing sources familiar to the matter. The company already has a mobile payment service, Line Pay, and has a virtual currency that is used in games and to buy content, mainly attractive and expressive stickers. The company wants to create products that will keep users coming back to the app. Line is the latest among a long list of companies that has embarked on the virtual currency and blockchain wagon.
As of 9.05 am ET, Bitcoin was up 0.97 percent at $14,080.20, Ethereum was higher by 5.22 percent at $1,278.56 and Ripple was up 10.66 percent at $2.10 on CoinMarketCap.