China banned the popular practice of raising funds by launching token-based digital currencies, a move which directly targeted initial coin offerings (ICOs), which have become increasingly popular in the past year. According to reports, this ban was the first of what is expected to be a series of regulatory controls implemented on cryptocurrencies.
To date, $2.32 billion has been raised through ICOs worldwide, with $2.216 percent f that being raised in 2017 alone. Ethereum, the cryptocurrency of choice for token-issuers, plummeted on the news, down nearly 20 percent on Tuesday to $283, after starting the decline on Monday afternoon. Bitcoin prices also suffered, heading down 8 percent.
Markets Start Week with a Struggle
U.S. gasoline prices dropped on Monday as port operations resumed in the Gulf Coast and oil refineries around Houston restarted production. According to Reuters, retail gasoline prices were up only 1 cent per gallon on Monday, but benchmark U.S. gasoline futures struggled. Brent crude futures were down to $52.20 per barrel as of 6:22 a.m. GMT on Tuesday, a 0.25 percent slide. U.S. WTI futures were up 0.32 percent to $47.44 per barrel.
In the currency markets, the dollar slipped against the yen again on Tuesday morning, trading at 109.29, a 0.39 percent slide. The euro was modestly up against the dollar, trading at $1.1904. The euro continues to be boosted by expectations that the European Central Bank will reduce its monthly asset purchases in October, rather than in September as originally planned. The dollar, in contrast, is pressured both by internal issues and global ones: the threat of North Korea’s ballistic missile and its history of aggression will make it difficult for the greenback to advance and uncertainly about the United States’ debt ceiling is a critical issue which will be resolved only towards the end of this month when the Federal Reserve holds its annual policy meeting.