Bitcoin faced another sharp fall today as the cryptocurrency heads for its worst weekly loss in five years.
Bitcoin fell to a low of $3,474.73 today, its lowest level since September 2017, according to data from Luxembourg-based Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.
The sharp fall means bitcoin is on track to see its largest weekly drop since April 2013, when prices fell almost 45 per cent.
The fall is the latest in a series of blows for the cryptocurrency, which has seen its value fall 33 per cent in the last week. So far this year its value has plummeted 75 per cent.
Bitcoin is now 82 per cent below its high of $19,666 last year following a surge of value for cryptocurrencies.
Competitor Ripple has also seen a sharp decline and is roughly 90 per cent below its peak.
Bitcoin’s freefall comes shortly after its offshoot Bitcoin Cash split into two competing cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin exchange Kraken raised concerns about one of the new currencies, describing it as an “extremely high-risk investment”.
Bitcoin is known as a highly-volatile currency, and the drop follows a stable period in October.
Earlier this month the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reached settlements with two cryptocurrency companies as part of a crackdown on irregularities and fraud among providers of digital currencies.
Bitcoin is also facing an investigation by regulators into whether the cryptocurrency’s huge rise in value last year was the result of market manipulation.
Investigators are looking at whether bitcoin traders used other cryptocurrencies to illegally distort prices, according to reports by Bloomberg.
Regulators in the UK are also considering a crackdown on cryptocurrencies. Earlier this month Christopher Woolard, executive director at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said: “To combat financial crime risks, the Treasury will undertake one of the most comprehensive responses globally to the use of cryptoassets for illicit activities.”