Bitcoin Trades Below $10,000 in Worst Decline Since 2015

Published February 1st, 2018 - 03:16 GMT
Bitcoin was trading at $9,549 by 05:52AM ET (10:52AM GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange today. (Shutterstock)
Bitcoin was trading at $9,549 by 05:52AM ET (10:52AM GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange today. (Shutterstock)

The price of digital currency bitcoin dropped below the $10,000 level on Thursday on the first trading day of the month, after recording its worst monthly decline in four years in January amid increased scrutiny from regulators.

Bitcoin was trading at $9,549 by 05:52AM ET (10:52AM GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange. Bitcoin posted a monthly decline of 25.88% in January, the worst monthly performance since a fall of 31.34% in January 2015.

January is typically a bad month for bitcoin - the cryptocurrency has fallen in four out of five of the Januarys in the period between 2013 and 2017.

Bitcoin and rival cryptocurrencies have come under increased regulatory scrutiny in recent months, which is weighing on their price.

Bitcoin prices fell on Wednesday following reports that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sent subpoenas to cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and Tether.

Tether is a company that issues a widely traded coin, which its claims is backed by U.S. dollars held in reserve, but has never provided any evidence to confirm this.

Meanwhile, Facebook said Tuesday that it will ban advertisements that "promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices," including cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies are still reeling after hackers stole $530 million worth of virtual coins from Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck last week, in one of the biggest-ever thefts of digital money.

Japan’s financial regulator has said that it will inspect all cryptocurrency exchanges in the wake of the hack and ordered Coincheck to improve its standards.

The theft has underlined security and regulatory concerns around digital currencies amid an exponential increase in demand and price during recent months.

In South Korea, new measures banning the use of anonymous bank accounts in cryptocurrency trading came into effect on Tuesday. The measures are aimed at preventing digital currencies from being used for money laundering and other illegal activities.

On Thursday, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pledged a crackdown on the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes, stressing the government does not consider them to be legal tender.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, traded down around 0.47% at $1,091.70 on the Bitfinex exchange.

The third largest cryptocurrency Ripple fell around 5.45% to $1.04 on the Poloniex exchange.

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