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Bitcoin price drops 10 percent in an hour, falling below $12,000 to a six-week low

The price of bitcoin fell below $12,000 for the first time since December 5, according to CoinDesk data.

Bitcoin dipped to a six-week low Tuesday, as investors monitored warnings from regulators and reports of an escalated crackdown on the cryptocurrency market in China. Other major digital currencies including ethereum and ripple were also seen falling significantly. According to CoinMarketCap data, ethereum was trading at $1,090.96, down more than 18 percent in the last 24 hours, while ripple fell almost 26 percent to $1.37 a token. The price of the bitcoin fell below $12,000 for the first time since December 5, according to CoinDesk data. It was trading at $11,685.24 a coin at about 3:33 a.m. ET, and was down more than 10 percent from an hour earlier. CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index tracks prices from cryptocurrency exchanges Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Bitfinex. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that authorities in China were planning to block domestic access to Chinese and offshore cryptocurrency platforms that allow centralized trading. Regulators will also target people and companies that provide market-making, settlement and clearing services for centralized trading, the publication said, citing unnamed sources. Bitcoin rose slightly higher from its six-week low to around $11,992.59 at about 4:00 a.m. ET. The digital asset soared to a record high of $19,343 last month, but has since been on a gradual decline. Futures contracts for bitcoin were introduced for the first time last month, with huge derivatives operators CME and the Cboe letting investors bet on price movements in the volatile asset for the first time. Cboe’s bitcoin futures for January 2018 were trading at $12,080 Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. ET, down more than 12 percent for the session, while CME’s contracts were trading at $12,040, down more than 13 percent. “The pullback seems to be coming from a lack of buyers in Asia,” Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, told CNBC in an email. “Japan and South Korea usually dominate this market but over the last few days, the volumes have been dropping steadily. This morning the combined volumes from these two countries dropped below 30 percent.” He added: “The Koreans and Japanese are used to paying a premium of 20 percent or more per coin. It seems they’re getting wise and waiting for the market to even out before buying in again.” Should you invest in a cryptocurrency? Should you invest in a cryptocurrency? 9:27 AM ET Thu, 26 Oct 2017 | 05:22 ‘Tired of paying the premium’ CoinMarketCap recently removed South Korean exchanges from its price calculations due the “extreme divergence” in prices compared to the rest of the world. Reports of South Korea preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading via exchanges last week sent the price of bitcoin and a number of other major digital currencies down dramatically. But recently the country’s government has toned down its stance, and on Monday said it would only make a decision on how to move forward after “sufficient consultation and coordination of opinions.” “The reports are certainly not helping but in my assessment, the Asian market is simply tired of paying the premium,” eToro’s Greenspan said. Charles Hayter, CEO of Crypto Compare, told CNBC: “It seems like it is uncertainty spooking the markets to a degree with regulations unclear. Korea and Asia in general has been a strong support for the cryptocurrency markets adding users and demand with prices often trading at a premium.” Hayter added: “These moves are profit taking on the increased risk scenarios going forward.” From src

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