Bitcoin fell to a six-week low on Wednesday as global cryptocurrency markets entered the second day of a sell-off. Major coins are registering double-digit percentage falls. Bitcoin was down 12 per cent to $9,936.69, while Ethereum plunged 16 per cent to $884.68, at 11.55 a.m. GMT (6:55 a.m. ET), according to data on Markets Insider.
“Despite the fact that bitcoin has almost halved from its peak of $19,800 reached mid-December, it still remains 1100 per cent higher than it was 12 months ago,” City Index’s Simon Revington said in an email. “However, we could be seeing an important loss of momentum, especially given that Bitcoin hasn’t traded above $15,000 since Tuesday. $10,000 level is an important junction because it is a huge psychological level.”
All of the major cryptocurrencies suffered double-digit falls on Tuesday in what commentators described as a cryptocurrency “bloodbath.” The selloff was thought to be triggered by concerns about regulation in the Asian market. Ripple, the third-biggest cryptocurrency, was down almost 10 per cent on Wednesday lunchtime, while bitcoin cash, the fourth-biggest cryptocurrency, fell 8 per cent.
The slump comes amid reports that Russia could be about to impose stricter regulations on the sector. The Russian news service TASS reported last week that Russian President Vladimir Putin said “legislative regulation will be definitely required in future” for cryptocurrencies.
“It is known that the cryptocurrency is not backed by anything. It cannot be a store of value. No material valuables are behind it and it is not secured by anything. It can be a settlement medium to a certain degree and in certain situations. This is done quickly and efficiently,” Putin said, according to TASS. He compared cryptocurrencies to shared equity construction schemes. Putin’s comments were picked up by the widely read cryptocurrency news website CoinDesk on Wednesday.