Bitcoin crashes to 6-week low as regulator crackdown escalates

Bitcoin crashes to 6-week low as regulator crackdown escalates
The price of top digital currency bitcoin dipped below $11,000 on Tuesday for the first time since December 5, following reports of a further crackdown on the cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin slumped by over 20 percent, trading at $10,966 as of 11:50pm GMT. The cryptocurrency’s market capitalization currently stands at around $184 billion.

Other virtual currencies including ethereum and ripple have also dipped significantly. Ethereum was trading at $1,090, down more than 18 percent in the last 24 hours; while ripple fell by almost 26 percent to $1.37 per token.

Regulators across the globe, in countries including China, India, Brazil and South Korea, have been warning investors about the risks of trading in cryptocurrencies.

According to recent reports, authorities in China are planning to block domestic access to Chinese and offshore cryptocurrency platforms that allow centralized trading.

Regulators will also target people and companies that provide market-making, settlement and clearing services for centralized trading.

Bitcoin users in India have been facing difficulties with deposits and withdrawals after the country’s banks blocked all crypto-trading. Last month, the Indian Income Tax Department raided bitcoin exchanges across the country, seeking to identify cryptocurrency traders. The raids were conducted because of alleged tax evasion by exchange customers.

READ MORE: $1mn by 2020: John McAfee will still ‘eat his own d*ck’ if he’s wrong about Bitcoin

“The pullback seems to be coming from a lack of buyers in Asia,” Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, told CNBC. “Japan and South Korea usually dominate this market but over the last few days, the volumes have been dropping steadily. This morning the combined volumes from these two countries dropped below 30 percent,” he said.

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