Digital currency Bitcoin continues to fall against the dollar on Friday, following a 16% collapse in its value on Thursday.
Bitcoin began sliding on Thursday after Chinese media reported that the country’s regulators were moving closer to shutting down exchanges. Business Insider first reported that China was looking at a crackdown on all cryptocurrencies after the People’s Bank of China banned “initial coin offerings” at the start of the month.
Things got worse after BTCChina, one of the biggest local exchanges, said it would stop trade at the end of the month. Bloomberg is now reporting that exchanges will be banned by the end of the month. Bitcoin declined 16% against the dollar across the day’s trade.
The cryptocurrency has started Friday on the backfoot too. At 7.50 a.m. BST (2.50 a.m. ET), Bitcoin is down 1.7% against the dollar to $US3,193.40. The below chart shows what a terrible week it’s been for Bitcoin, shedding over $US1,000 in value over the last 7 days.
The slump has been sparked by a global crackdown on the cryptocurrency space since the start of the month. Chinese, South Korean, Hong Kong, and British regulators have all moved to either ban or reign in activity in the so-called “initial coin offering” space — where startups issue new digital coins to fund projects — and this has dented sector sentiment. The combined value of the crypto space, which includes over 800 digitial currencies, has declined by over $US50 billion in the last week, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
The Financial Times reports that Bitcoin is now on its longest losing streak in a year and it is at a one-month low against the dollar.
Elsewhere in the crypto space, Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market value, is down 0.21% against the dollar in early trade. Bitcoin Cash, which was spun off from Bitcoin at the start of last month, is down 1.4% against the dollar.
Get the latest Bitcoin price here.