Bitcoin price latest: Cryptocurrencies continue to plunge amid fears that trading could be banned

Andrew Griffin

Bitcoin is continuing to plunge amid fears that countries could ban it being traded.

Every single cryptocurrency – which includes bitcoin, but new entrants like ethereum and ripple – has plunged by about 10 per cent over the last day. That's down from an already low price, after a significant selloff in recent days.

The plunging price is on the back of suggestions by a number of governments that they could ban or at least crack down on trading in cryptocurrencies. Both South Korea and China have suggested in recent days that they could ban or at least severely restrict trading in the currencies.

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Bitcoin is now falling close to $10,000, having dropped more than 10 per cent in the last 24 hours. That is a marked reduction from December's highs, when the price was reaching to nearly $20,000 and had surged 2,000 per cent over the last year.

Every single cryptocurrency in the top 20 by market cap has fallen, according to the site Coin Market Cap.

The decline started on Tuesday after South Korea's most senior financial lawmaker said that the country was looking seriously at banning trading in the currency entirely. He said that the government had agreed on some plans including forcing people to use their real names while trading, but that it was considering a complete ban as a "live option".

Such a change would almost cause significant trouble for the bitcoin market. South Korea is one of the largest bitcoin trading markets in the world, with the demand so high that bitcoin sells for even more in the country.

That was followed quickly by reports that China was also considering a ban on trading the currency outside the country.

Both of those suggestions are thought to have led to worries that regulators could impose similar restrictions elsewhere in the country. Experts have suggested that cryptocurrencies could be a central topic of discussion at the G20 in March, where regulators might impose more broad restrictions across the world.

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