Cryptocurrency

$100 billion wiped off cryptocurrency market in 24 hours

Billions wiped of cryptocurrency market
(C) iStock.com/BadBrother

The global cryptocurrency market continues to experience losses after hitting monumental highs at the end of 2017. CNBC is reporting that in the 24 hours between the first and second of February, over $100 billion was wiped off the global cryptocurrency market.

Bloomberg reports that Bitcoin dropped below $8,500, almost halving in value since reaching a high of $19,511 on 18 December 2017.

Ripple and Ethereum, also took a tumble of 32% and 22% respectively as the whole market took a big hit.

It is hard to pin down the exact reason for the drop, as cryptocurrencies have been having a pretty torrid time in the press lately. Among the news in the last few days was a statement by Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley would be looking to crack down on the use of cryptocurrencies in criminal activities.

The New York Times released a report on 1 February documenting widespread worries among investors that the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies was being inflated by cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. The exchange has subsequently been subpoenaed by the US Commodity Futures and Trading Commission.

Bad press

The run of bad press has been going for most of January, spearheaded primarily by South Korea’s rumoured introduction of a ban on crypto trading, as well as slew of tighter regulations on the practice.

Japanese exchange CoinCheck was hacked, with perpetrators making off with $500 million of the NEM currency. All the while, respected figures in the finance and business world have continued to talk down digital currencies. The most recent was billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who told CNBC that the sector would come to a “bad ending”.

Social media giant Facebook has also announced that it will be banning all advertising relating to crypto services and products as a reflection of its concerns over the validity of some of the claims being made.

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