Bitcoin Continues Its Slide, Falls Below $10K

20 January 2018, 05:07 | Isaac Mcdaniel

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Bitcoin tumbles as fears of cryptocurrency crackdown linger

Bitcoin, the dominant digital currency, extended a slump today following a recent surge to trade below Dollars 10,000 for the first time since the start of December.

The numbers support this assertion: bitcoin prices surged by 2,000% over 12 months, peaking at nearly $20,000 per coin in December 2017.

Some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges are based in South Korea, with the country representing the world's third-biggest market for bitcoin trades, however it is unclear what exactly a government crackdown would involve.

The sell-off appeared to be sparked by worries over tighter regulation in the key markets of South Korea and China.

The authors said: "Most people are buying bitcoin, not because of a belief in its future as a global currency, but because they expect it to rise in value".

Speaking about other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Ripple, and Litecoin, they have also seen deep losses of between 30 percent to 40 percent, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

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Bitcoin, the original and still the world's leading cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, has plunged by 14 percent that day, as Coindesk points out. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is hovering around $450 billion, down ~30 percent from $650 billion just 48 hours ago.

Among Bitcoin-related stocks on the stock market today, Marathon Patent Group (MARA) was up 0.3%, Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) was flat, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) fell 2% and (OSTK) lost 2%. Other digital currencies bounced around as well. South Korea banned opening anonymous virtual currency accounts and put in place new laws giving authorities power to shut down digital currency exchanges. Reports quoting the survey said a 25-year-old, who had invested Rs 25 lakh in bitcoins, has seen the valuations of the currency he held multiplying to Rs 760 crore.

Bitcoin was fluctuating at around $10,200 on Bitstamp at time of publication on Wednesday.

Just last week, billionaire investor Warren Buffett warned with "almost certainty" that cryptocurrencies "will come to a bad ending".

Apparently, many investors didn't want to leave the fate of their crypto holdings to chances after South Korea's Finance Minister Kim Dong-Yeon reiterated that a ban on virtual currencies was still a "live option".

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