Crypto Prices Fall; Japan-based Coincheck Plots Comeback

18 May 2018, 19: 48
© Reuters.  Cryptocurrency prices fell on Friday in Asia

Cryptocurrency prices fell on Friday in Asia, with Ethereum and Ripple down more than 5%.

Bitcoin was trading at $8,021.5 by 12:30AM ET (04:30GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, down 4.2% over the previous 24 hours.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was down 5.1% at $675.7 on the Bitfinex exchange.

Ripple’s XRP token fell 5.3% higher to $0.66386 on the Poloniex exchange.

Meanwhile, Litecoin lost 5.1% to $132.89.

The Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck is plotting its comeback after losing $500 million of digital currency to hackers in January, reports on Friday revealed.

The crypto exchange spent “heavily” to improve security following the incident in January, reports added. Coincheck was acquired by Japanese online brokerage Monex Group in April. Oki Matsumoto, CEO of Monex, said he expects Coincheck to secure an official license in Japan in June.

A plan to bring the crypto exchange to America is also being considered, Matsumoto added. “Japan may seem like it’s one step ahead in crypto, but in terms of deciding what’s a security or a token and attracting institutional investors, the U.S. and Europe are moving ahead,” he said in an interview.

Meanwhile, traders are awaiting a decision by U.S. authorities on whether to classify virtual coins as securities, commodities, or something else.

The development could potentially create the regulatory clarity necessary to attract more investors to cryptocurrencies, according to Matsumoto.