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Monday 16 December 2019

Bitcoin tumbles as regulators eye clampdown

Bitcoin was trading 12% lower at $11,933 on Tuesday, a dramatic fall from its December highs of nearly $20,000.

Bitcoin has fallen in value (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Bitcoin has fallen in value (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

The value of Bitcoin tumbled to below $12,000 as the prospect of a regulatory crackdown saw investors take fright from the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin was trading 12% lower at $11,933 on Tuesday, according to Coindesk, a dramatic fall from its December highs of nearly $20,000.

However, it remains significantly higher than its $900 position recorded in January 2017.

Analysts put the fall down to regulatory concerns in South Korea, China and Europe.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: “Bitcoin faces a regulatory crunch sooner or later and increasingly we see signs of this starting to bite following South Korea’s tentative plans to ban trading on cryptocurrencies and China’s move to shutter mines.

“Latest developments suggest more regulatory pressures.

“China is said to be targeting websites and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, in a bid to block access to platforms that deliver centralised trading on cryptocurrencies.

“In addition to developments in China, South Korean finance minister Kim Dong-yeon reiterated on Tuesday that the government is actively considering an outright ban on crypto trading.”

Germany’s Bundesbank has also called for global regulation of Bitcoin, while France’s finance minister wants tougher rules for cryptocurrencies.

Only last week, US billionaire Warren Buffett ruled out a foray into cryptocurrencies, warning that the Bitcoin boom will “come to a bad ending”.

The chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway has joined the chorus of voices criticising the digital currency, which endured a rollercoaster ride at the tail end of 2017.

His comments came just a day after JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon said he regretted calling Bitcoin a “fraud”.

The Wall Street boss was one of the most high-profile critics of the digital currency, saying he would fire employees trading the digital currency.

PA Media

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