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6 Feb, 2018 13:23

Cryptocurrency market loses over half a trillion dollars this year

Cryptocurrency market loses over half a trillion dollars this year

The biggest sell-off in cryptocurrency market history has wiped out around $550 billion since January 7, when the market capitalization reached a record $836 billion.

On Tuesday, the cryptocurrency market capitalization sank below $300 billion for first time since November, according to CoinMarketCap data. The top 10 digital assets by market value are facing double-digit losses for the fourth time in the last five days.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been hammered by a series of crackdowns by banks and governments around the world. On Tuesday, the Bank for International Settlements warned that authorities must be prepared to act against the “invasive spread of cryptocurrencies.”

Since this year has been dominated by negative news for cryptocurrencies, most of them are down at least 70 percent from their record highs. Bitcoin’s market cap has plunged to $106 billion from its record of $326 billion.

Also this week, Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group, which comprises Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA, announced that it had banned cryptocurrency purchases on its credit cards. The move was followed by similar decisions from American giants Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. Another British bank, Barclays, said its customers can use their cards to purchase cryptocurrency legitimately.

One large business hub that has no plans to ban cryptocurrency trading is Singapore. This was made clear in a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Tuesday.

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