Top Cryptocurrency bitcoin dropped more than 16 percent ($8,500) on Friday, losing over half of its value since January, representing more than $72 billion.
Bitcoin tumbled below $8,500 as a miserable 2018 continued for cryptocurrencies, with investors confronting a mounting list of concerns about the future of the industry.
Bitcoin dropped 8 percent to $8,378 at 8:05 a.m. in London, the lowest since Nov. 24 according to consolidated Bloomberg pricing. Rival coins Ripple, Ether and Litecoin tumbled at least 11 percent as losses continued to spread across cryptocurrencies.
Since reaching a record high of $19,511 on Dec. 18 shortly after the introduction of regulated futures contracts in the U.S., Bitcoin has wiped out more than half its value amid waves of negative news.
Setbacks included escalating regulatory threats from authorities around the world including India, South Korea, China and the U.S., a record $500 million heist at Japanese exchange Coincheck Inc., fears of price manipulation and Facebook’s ban on cryptocurrency ads.
Japanese authorities raided Coincheck’s offices Friday morning, a week after the robbery, hauling out documents and computers as evidence. The inspection was conducted to ensure security for users, Finance Minister Taro Aso said.
All the leading cryptocurrencies except two were trading lower on Friday.
Ethereum was the only major coin to finish January on a positive note. The second-largest cryptocurrency saw gains of 45 percent during 2018’s first month, compared to a loss of 25 percent for bitcoin, and respective declines of 45 percent and 35 percent for ripple and bitcoin cash.