The world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, dropped almost 10 percent on Thursday reaching its lowest since November, as a Facebook ban on cryptocurrency ads and increased regulatory backlash against the market has investors concerned.
On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange on Thursday, Bitcoin dropped to as low as $9,165.40, which is just about half of December’s nearly $20,000 high. Last month the cryptocurrency shed over 26 percent, taking over the title of worst monthly performance since January 2015.
Other cryptocurrencies, including Ripple, the third-largest digital currency by market value, and Bitcoin Cash, have followed suit and lost at least 10 percent in the last day, according to cryptocurrency trading website. Ethereum, on the other hand, was up marginally on the day.
Last year’s volatile increase of the value of digital coins as well as the increase of new retail investors pulled in to the market have brought on concerns from global regulators regarding a sector used mostly for speculation.
This week, Facebook said in a post on its website that the company would be banning any type of ads that “promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency”.
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Currently, it is not clear if Facebook will be banning all cryptocurrency ads on its social media site or just those described in the above statement.
On Thursday, the finance minister of India vowed to abolish the use of cryptocurrencies. And last week, a $530 million hack of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck was responsible for weighing on the market, as well as a subpoena from U.S. regulators sent to two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency companies, Bitfinex and Tether.
“Sentiment towards cryptocurrencies is turning sour with negative headlines pouring out from left, right and center,” said Fawad Razaqzada, a forex analyst. “Concerns that Facebook is banning ads and major crypto exchanges shutting down have really silenced the hype and some people are probably having second thoughts about investing their hard-earned cash into digital currencies.”