Bitcoin plunges to less than $10000

FILE PHOTO: A coin representing the bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen on computer circuit boards in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017. Reuters

Bitcoin, the largest virtual currency, faces a hard plunge due to drop in its value to less than $10,000 for the first time in past six weeks. The dip occurred when the cryptocurrency giant was planning to stage a rally to trade virtually.

The virtual currency has fallen by as much as 20 percent on Wednesday, January 17 while other cryptocurrencies also faced similar fate due to investor fears. Bitcoin had lost around 30 percent of its value since the dip which started on January 16.

The cryptocurrency giant had made its record peak of $20,000 set on a Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange last month. Bitcoin was steady in the US trading during the period.

Etherium and Ripple which stand out as second and third in cryptocurrency market have also fallen after China and South Korea imposed ban on the virtual currency in September and December last year.

Charles Hayter, founder of Cryptocompare, said, "There is a lot of panic in the market. People are selling to try and get the hell out of here."

Officials in France and the United States are seeking a probe on cryptocurrencies, while South Korea, Japan, and China have raised voice for a regulatory regime. The major global concern is on how to regulate the digital currency while looking for an acceleration.

Shuhei Fujise, chief analyst at Alt Design said, "Cryptocurrencies could be capped in the current quarter ahead of the G20 meeting in March, where policymakers could discuss tighter regulations."

China's shut down of local cryptocurrency exchanges in September 2017. Hackers have looted $400,000 from the digital wallet provider BlackWallet recently. Marko Kobal, the co-founder of Slovenian Cryptocurrency mining market NiceHash had to resign earlier this month as the company lost $60 million Bitcoin in a hack in December.

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit was shut down in December following two hackings in two months.

This article was first published on January 18, 2018