Bitcoin is having a wild ride on Friday.
The digital currency has gone from being down over 7% against the dollar to up more than 10% against the greenback in about two hours.
The cryptocurrency briefly fell below the symbolically significant level of $3,000 a coin for the first time in over a month around lunchtime in London, down as much as 7.8% against the dollar at one point. A crackdown on trading in China is a cause of the fall, with Reuters reporting that exchanges have been ordered to stop signing up new users and announce a trading halt.
However, at 3.15 p.m. BST (10.15 a.m. ET), bitcoin was up 10.43% against the dollar, to $3,587.74. It represents a swing of about $500 on the day – you can see the wild volatility below:
- Markets Insider
Despite the fightback, bitcoin is still about $1,000 below where it started the week. The Financial Times reports that bitcoin is now on its longest losing streak in a year.
Bitcoin collapsed 16% against the dollar on Thursday after Chinese media reported that the country’s regulators were moving closer to shutting down exchanges. Business Insider first reported that China was looking at a crackdown on all cryptocurrencies after the People’s Bank of China banned so-called initial coin offerings – where startups issue new digital coins to fund projects – at the start of the month.
Things got worse after BTCChina, one of the biggest local exchanges, said it would stop trade at the end of the month; Bloomberg is now reporting that exchanges will be banned by then.
Regulators around the world have been cracking down on the cryptocurrency space since the start of the month. Regulators in China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Britain have all moved to either ban or rein in activity in ICOs, which has dented sector sentiment. The combined value of the crypto space, which includes over 800 digital currencies, has declined by more than $50 billion in the last week, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
Elsewhere in the crypto space, ether, which is powered by the Ethereum blockchain and is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, is down 0.21% against the dollar in early trading. Bitcoin cash, which was spun off from bitcoin at the start of August, is down 1.4% against the dollar.