LONDON: Bitcoin on Tuesday plunged below $30,000 after a crackdown launched by Chinese central bank.
Bitcoin made around 50 per cent losses since it hit an all time high in April this year.
The cryptocurrency has suffered several price falls in recent days, having traded above $40,000 just one week ago.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency dropped to $28,600, its lowest since early January, after giving up gains made during Asian hours. Its fall also pressured smaller coins such as ether.
Bitcoin tumbled 11 per cent on Monday, its largest one-day drop in over a month, with losses of nearly 30 per cent in the last week alone almost wiping out gains for the year-to-date. It was last down 2.3 per cent at $30,896.
The sell-off was sparked by the People’s Bank of China urging China’s largest banks and payment firms to crack down harder on cryptocurrency trading, the latest tightening of restrictions on the sector by Beijing.
Crypto exchanges were effectively pushed out of China by a 2017 rule change, but over-the-counter platforms based overseas have sprung up to receive payment from people based in China and buying cryptocurrencies on their behalf.
Independent.co.uk reported that several other leading cryptocurrencies have mirrored bitcoin’s latest crash, including Ethereum (ether), Cardano (ada) and dogecoin.
The market-wide crash took the overall market cap of all cryptocurrencies combined below $1.2 trillion for the first time since February. Half a trillion dollars has been wiped from the market in the last seven days alone.