Bitcoin dropped below $3,000 on Friday as the cryptocurrency extended a brutal eight-day sell-off that has reduced its value against the dollar by a third.
The currency traded as low as $2,972, marking a 36 per cent fall from bitcoin’s close on September 7, and a collapse of 40 per cent from the highs struck earlier this month.
The latest bout of selling came after BTCChina, one of the country’s biggest bitcoin exchanges, said it would halt trading at the end of the month. Focus has now shifted to the communist country’s other two big exchanges: OKCoin and Huobi. Neither has responded to a request for comment by the Financial Times on their plans in light of the BTCC move.
China had already been bolstering its crackdown on cryptocurrencies, with its central bank earlier this month calling initial coin offerings (ICOs) illegal.
Bitcoin’s woes were also deepened this week after Jamie Dimon, one of the world’s most influential bankers, called bitcoin a “fraud” better suited for drug dealers and murderers than legitimate businesses. A move by the UK’s financial watchdog this week to warn on ICOs has done little to help the situation.
Its meteoric rise and abrupt plunge have once again called into question bitcoin as a proper currency that can be used a store of value, as opposed to another highly speculative asset class. “A wide array of risks obscure the future of cryptocurrencies,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch had noted this summer amid bitcoin’s ascent.