EU referendum wipes more than $100 off the price of bitcoin

Francesca Washtell
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The bitcoin price was hammered on Thursday, losing almost $130 (£89) over 24 hours, as Britons took to the polls to cast their ballots in the EU referendum.

By 5.30pm (GMT) the price of a single bitcoin was trading down 3.7 per cent at $573, according to the Bitstamp market exchange.

However the day's low, mostly prompted by the EU referendum's seeming swing towards the Remain camp winning, was registered at $540.17. At 5pm on Wednesday, the price was $679.69, according to Bitstamp.

Read more: Latest surge pushes bitcoin price above $750 barrier

Dan Healy, managing director and head of research at FTI Consulting, said:

It appears investors have been mitigating against the likelihood of a Brexit as polling showed a surge in support for the Leave campaign in recent weeks.

It’s no coincidence that we’re now seeing a correction as polling forecasts are predominantly for a Remain victory, but it might not be over yet. Our own FTI Consulting poll on the eve of the referendum vote shows 26 per cent of voters could still change their minds on the day.

Two of the final referendum polls released today handed a comfortable lead to Remain, while bookies odds from Betfair, William Hill and Ladbrokes all put the odds on staying in Europe at over 75 per cent.

Oliver Carding, co-founder of told City A.M.: "As it looks more likely that the UK is voting to remain in Europe, it makes sense that those who bought bitcoin as a way to avoid GBP/euro volatility would look to exchange back into fiat currency which may be a factor in the price decrease we've witnessed over the last few days."

Read more: Bitcoin will "fail to become a widely accepted method of payment"

The bitcoin price has rallied in recent weeks following a surge in demand from China due to fears over the country's corporate debt levels and investment due to the upcoming halving event, which is expected to occur in mid-July. This event will halve the number of bitcoins that can be produced by "mining" the cryptocurrency from 25 to 12.5.

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