Bitcoin down another seven percent as regulation uncertainties rises


Tokyo/Singapore (Reuters): Bitcoin extended its sharp tumble of the past 24 hours, skidding more than seven percent today in a rapid downturn in fortunes.

Investors were spooked by fears that regulators might clamp down on an asset whose value has skyrocketed in the past year.

The price of the world’s biggest and best known cryptocurrency fell to as low as $10,567 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.

The drop was not far from its six-week nadir of $10,162 touched the previous day.

It led the fall in cryptocurrencies, although others such as Ethereum and Ripple, have also slid sharply this week after reports South Korea and China could ban trading, sparking worries of a wider regulatory crackdown.

At its lows yesterday, bitcoin had fallen 25% in the session, its biggest daily decline in four months.

It was a far cry from its peak close to $20,000 in December, when the virtual currency had risen nearly 2000% over the year.

Yesterday’s decline followed reports that South Korea’s finance minister had said banning trading in cryptocurrencies was still an option and that the government plans a set of measures to clamp down on the “irrational” cryptocurrency investment craze.

Separately, a senior Chinese central banker said authorities should ban centralised trading of virtual currencies as well as individuals and businesses that provide related services.

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