Bitcoin plunged to a three-week low Friday after South Korean prosecutors raided the country’s largest cyptocurrency exchange over fraud concerns, just before the start of Blockchain Week New York, which has served as a tailwind for the speculative asset class.
Bitcoin plunged to a three-week low Friday after South Korean prosecutors raided the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange over fraud concerns.
The raid came just before the start of the showpiece Blockchain Week New York event, which usually serves as a tailwind for the speculative asset class. Meanwhile, Facebook (FB) is said to be “very serious” about launching its own cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin fell 5.7% to $8,503.97, the lowest level since April 20, according to Coindesk. Other digital currencies were also hit, with Ethereum down 5.1%, Bitcoin Cash 8.6% and Ripple, also known as XRP, 7.2%.
Among Bitcoin-related stocks, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) closed up 2.1% on the stock market today, Overstock.com (OSTK) rose 3%, Marathon Patent Group (MARA) fell 3% and Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) lost 3.4%.
The movement came after it emerged that investigators from the Prosecutors’ Office in the capital of Seoul raided the head office of the UPbit exchange on May 10-11, according to CoinDesk Korea.
Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is suspected of committing fraud by selling coins to customers it does not actually hold. Hard disks and accounting books were confiscated for analysis.
“UPbit is currently under investigation by the prosecution, and we are working diligently,” a statement on the firm’s website said. “UPbit services such as all transactions and withdrawals are operating normally. Your assets are kept securely in your account, so you can rest assured that you can use UPbit services.”
Blockchain Week To Begin
The blow comes before the start of Blockchain Week New York, which kicks off today. A highlight is the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology summit, which is being held at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Other events taking place include the Building Blocks Hackathon, the Women on the Block diversity conference and the third New York Token Summit.
Among those attending the event are St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard, Twitter (TWTR) and Square (SQ) CEO Jack Dorsey, and Credit Suisse director Emmanuel Aidoo, who leads the firm’s Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Practice division. Eva Kaili, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, will also be there.