Bitcoin tumbled below $8 500 (about R102 000) as a miserable 2018 continued for cryptocurrencies, with investors confronting a mounting list of concerns about the future of the industry.
Bitcoin dropped 8% to $8 378 at 09:05, the lowest since November 24 according to consolidated Bloomberg pricing. Rival coins Ripple, Ether and Litecoin tumbled at least 11% as losses continued to spread across cryptocurrencies.
Since reaching a record high of $19 511 on December 18 shortly after the introduction of regulated futures contracts in the US, Bitcoin has wiped out more than half its value amid waves of negative news.
Setbacks included escalating regulatory threats from authorities around the world including India, South Korea, China and the US, a record $500m heist at Japanese exchange Coincheck, fears of price manipulation and Facebook’s ban on cryptocurrency ads.
Japanese authorities raided Coincheck’s offices on Friday morning, a week after the robbery, hauling out documents and computers as evidence. The inspection was conducted to ensure security for users, Finance Minister Taro Aso said.