Bitcoin Sell-Off Continues; FCA Investigates 24 Crypto Firms

Published May 29th, 2018 - 10:48 GMT
The digital currency was down over 14.69% over the week. (Shutterstock)
The digital currency was down over 14.69% over the week. (Shutterstock)

Cryptocurrencies were lower on Monday, as fears over a U.S. criminal investigation continued to rattle investors and amid reports that a UK watchdog is investigating crypto firms.

Bitcoin was trading at $7,215.5 falling 1.92% as of 7:43 AM ET (11:43 GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, not far from an earlier low of $7,203.00. The digital currency was down over 14.69% over the week.

Bitcoin was at a six-and-a-half week low afters reports last week that the U.S. Justice Department is looking into whether traders are manipulating the price of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s main financial watchdog, is investigating 24 firms that deal with digital currencies and has also opened seven whistleblower reports in 2018.

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The probe is to see if the unregulated business are participating in activities that would require authorization from the regulator, the FCA said in response to a freedom of information request from accountancy and consulting firm Moore Stephens. While the FCA does not regulate digital currencies, it does regulate virtual derivatives because it is considered a financial instrument.

As governments have increased regulation, digital currencies have fallen in value. The total market cap was down to a six-week low at $312 billion at the time of writing, compared to $342 billion on Friday.

Other digital coins were down with Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, falling 8.59%% to $530.22 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third largest virtual currency, decreased 6.71%% to $0.56952 while Litecoin was at $112.50, down 5.01%.

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