Bitcoin falls below $10K for first time since November

By Sara Shayanian  |  Jan. 17, 2018 at 10:08 AM
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Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The value of bitcoin fell below the $10,000-mark Wednesday for the first time since November, as investors fear regulators could suppress the volatile cryptocurrency.

The world's most popular cryptocurrency was trading at about $9,800 at 9 a.m. on Wednesday -- down almost 12 percent in a 24-hour period.

Bitcoin last fell below $10,000 on Nov. 30. After that, the currency soared to a record-breaking $19,343 -- but has since been on a gradual decline. From Tuesday to Wednesday, more than $30 billion of value was wiped off bitcoin's market value.

"The action we're seeing may seem dramatic but is really quite normal for this market," Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro, told CNBC. "All in all, this drop has brought us back to the prices that were traded about a month ago for most coins."

Other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Ripple, have plunged, as well, as reports of South Korea and China potentially banning cryptocurrency trading sparked worries of a widespread regulatory crackdown.

Experts say regulatory intervention may also spread to the United States and Europe, as U.S. and European officials have voiced concern over high risk in the bitcoin markets.

China is also reportedly looking to crackdown on the cryptocurrency market. Bloomberg reported Monday that officials would target online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services.

Charles Hayter, chief executive of CryptoCompare, said many anticipated the cryptocurrency market to decline.

"The market was very overheated and had significantly dislocated from trend," Hayter said. "A large percentage of investors were expecting this correction and reversion to mean."

The panic of a decline was "leading the herd to sell with no other justification than fear," Hayter added.

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