In Brief

Crypto crash: bitcoin drops to lowest point since November

Virtual currency falls 30% this week to $8,000

Bitcoin suffered its third price crash in two weeks this morning, falling below the $8,000 (£5,700) per coin mark. 

The cryptocurrency’s value has dropped by a total of 30% this week and is at its lowest price since November, Reuters reports. Other digital currencies, such as Ripple and Ethereum, have also suffered “double-digit declines in the last 24 hours”.

It is believed that Facebook’s decision to ban all cryptocurrency adverts from its network, and “a growing regulatory backlash” from countries such as China and South Korea, have led to mass sell-offs by investors over the past two weeks, the news site says. 

The price crash is “a jarring turnaround” for the cryptocurrency market, says The Verge. Bitcoin reached an all-time high of $20,000 (£14,100) per coin in December. 

However, according to The Independent, bitcoin is “still up 2,520% over the last year”, with the recent price crash “simply undoing all of the incredibly fast surge traders saw at the end of last year”.

Crypto crash: bitcoin and Ethereum plummet in value

The cryptocurrency market has dropped sharply over the past two days, with the value of popular coins including bitcoin and Ethereum dropping by up to 20%. 

The crash has been attributed to the South Korean government’s new plans to “crack down” on virtual currency trading, which has led to “a sell-off across the market globally”, says BBC News.

Bitcoin’s value, which hit $20,000 (£14,500) per token in December, tumbled as low as $10,000 (£7,300) on Wednesday morning. 

Ethereum and the bank-focused coin Ripple also plunged in value, says Reuters, as the news from South Korea fuelled “worries of a wider regulatory crackdown”.

Shuhei Fujise, an analyst at Alt Design, told the news site: “Cryptocurrencies could be capped in the current quarter ahead of G20 meeting in March, where policymakers could discuss tighter regulations.”

China and Germany have also indicated they are preparing crackdowns on digital currencies, The Daily Telegraph reports.

This is by no means the first crash to hit virtual coins. A similar slump occurred in September when China banned start-up cryptocurrencies - known as initial coin offerings (ICOs). 

The market then rebounded, with digital tokens reaching record prices between December and the first week of January. 

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