A Week That Started With a Roar Ends With a Whimper As Bitcoin Falls Back to $7300

Siamak Masnavi

Bitcoin started the past week with an impressive four-day rally that took the price all the way from $6,575 to 7,827, as you can see from the two-week BTC-USD price chart below:

BTC-USD Two Week - 1 Dec 2019.jpg

However, it finally succumbed to gravity towards the end of the week after news came out about an attack on South Korean crypto exchange Upbit's hot wallets, the mysterious disappearance of the CEO of Chinese crypto exchange IDAX, and the arrest of Ethereum researcher Virgil Griffith in Los Angeles after he returned from a trip to a crypto conference in North Korea.

By 19:25 UTC on December 1, the damage from all of this negative news seems to have helped the price of Bitcoin fall to $7,307.

Of these three events, the most significant for the crypto market seems to be the arrest of U.S. citizen Virgil Griffith, who works as a research scientist for the Ethereum Foundation.

By giving a talk at the crypto conference in the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea ("DPRK"), according to the press release issued on November 29 by the office of Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Griffith may have violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”). 

Although the crypto community seems divided on whether Griffith deserves to be punished, there is definitely some concern that now that Ethereum has got the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice, Griffith's allegedly illegal actions might put all cryptoassets and crypto exchanges under much greater regulatory scrutiny, which could hurt blockchain development and cryptoasset prices in the long term.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com