Lloyds bans Bitcoin

By Teamspirit on Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Another week, another headline news story about Bitcoin. This time, Lloyds Banking Group has announced that it’s banning its credit card customers from buying the cryptocurrency.

Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and MBMA issued the ban after Bitcoin’s value more than halved. It is the first banking group in the UK to publicly announce such a ban, and follows similar announcements from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup in America.

This rapid slide in value, following an equally rapid rise at the end of 2017 has led many people to speculate that the cryptocurrency bubble may be on the verge of bursting, and financial observers to worry that people who have bought the currency may face significant losses and fall into debt if this slide continues. In December, Bitcoin reached a market high of $20,000, but by the end of January that figure had fallen to $8,000.

However, it isn’t just financial services providers that are concerned about Bitcoin’s volatility. Warren Buffet, the US billionaire, ruled out investing in cryptocurrencies. Regulators in the US, China, Russia, India and South Korea have all issued warnings about the growing cryptocurrency market. And Facebook has banned advertising for Bitcoin and similar currencies across its sites and apps.

It will be interesting to see if Bitcoin’s slide in value continues, and what this might mean for the currency, and cryptocurrencies in general. Is the bubble, as some have suggested, really about to burst, or are we seeing a market stabilisation of sorts? Only time will tell – and possibly not a lot of time.

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