There was a bitcoin flash crash this morning: Here's what happened

Courtney Goldsmith
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Bitcoin prices appeared to have a flash crash (Source: Getty)

Bitcoin prices had a flash crash today following Russia's decision to ban websites of exchanges that offer cryptocurrencies.

According to CoinDesk's popular price index, which aggregates prices from four exchanges, the digital currency fell more than $600 in just a few minutes.

After plummeting to below $4,200, prices have since bounced back up to trade 0.94 per cent higher than the previous closing price at $4,817.62.

However, not every exchange showed the flash-crash.

Bitcoin's rollercoaster ride

The mysterious price movements followed the Russian Central Bank's decision to block access to websites of exchanges that offer cryptocurrencies. The bank's first deputy governor, Sergei Shvetsov, called digital currencies "dubious" at a conference in Moscow.

“We cannot stand apart. We cannot give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail [investors],” Shvetsov said.

Earlier this year Russian authorities were keen to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies by Russian citizens and companies.

Read more: Bitcoin and Ethereum are down again after South Korea banned ICOs

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