Bitcoin prices are dropping after BTCChina halts trading on regulators' concerns

Courtney Goldsmith
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Bitcoin prices tumbled today after Chinese bitcoin exchange BTCChina said it would stop all trading from 30 September as regulators crack down on the industry.

It's been a tough week for bitcoin, which yesterday hit a three-week low after Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, labeled the digital currency a "fraud" and said he would fire employees who traded in cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin was trading 11.17 per cent lower at $3,441.47 at the time of writing, according to CoinDesk's index – the cryptocurrency's lowest price in more than a month.

China has been a hub for digital currency trading in recent years, but earlier this month Chinese authorities banned intial coin offerings (ICOs) which allow companies to issue digital tokens in return for equity.

Rumours emerged late last week China was planning to shut local exchanges, and today Chinese financial news outlet Yicai said exchanges would be ordered to leave the market by the end of September.

Bitcoin has made quick work of rising from less than $1,000 per token at the start of the year to more than $5,000, notching an all-time high just over the $5,000 barrier earlier in September.

The cryptocurrency's price jumped as it moved to the mainstream, but now that attention from regulators is starting to bite.

The FCA on Tuesday warned customers about ICOs, saying they were "very high-risk, speculative investments" and only for experienced investors who are prepared to lose their entire stake.

In response to Dimon's comments about bitcoin Yoni Assia, co-founder and chief executive of eToro and bitcoin bull, argued that most large financial institutions were well on the road to accepting blockchain technology.

"Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have the potential to sweep away all of today's incumbent financial institutions. We shouldn't be surprised that this threat sparks extreme reactions from the industry's top insiders," he said.

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