The Bitcoin price (BTC/USD) fell below $4,000 amid a steep decline in the broader cryptocurrency market. According to data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarktcap, Bitcoin (BTC) has lost more than 7% over the past 24 hours. Its largest rival, Ethereum, has lost nearly 8% in the same period and 90% of the top 100 digital coins are also posting significant losses. The total cryptocurrency market capitalisation has dropped to $138.5 billion.
It is unclear what’s behind the latest decline, but it’s likely that market uncertainty is at least partly responsible for the losses. The cryptocurrency sector has been under pressure over the past few days, following worrying reports from China.
The problems started on September 4, when Chinese regulators imposed a ban on domestic initial coin offerings – a controversial fundraising method, used by blockchain startups. Then the market took a second dip on Friday, when Chinese financial publication Caixin, published a report, claiming that the local authorities are planning a crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges as part of the ICO ban.
Adding more uncertainty, yesterday the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority issued a statement, warning consumers about the potential risks associated with ICOs. The watchdog described digital coin sales as “very high-risk, speculative investments”.
On top of that, yesterday another prominent Wall Street figure expressed skepticism toward Bitcoin. During an investor conference in New York, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s chief executive officer Jamie Dimon said that the cryptocurrency would eventually blow up, Bloomberg has reported. He also said that the original cryptocurrency is a “fraud” and “worse than tulip bulbs” – a reference to the infamous Tulip Mania that swept Holland in the 17th century. Still, Dimon said that Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, could be useful, but he thinks that banks’ application of blockchain “won’t be overnight.”
JP Morgan is part of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and is currently developing its own enterprise-focused blockchain called Quorum, which is based on the Ethereum network.
In today’s trading, the Bitcoin price stood at $3961.67, as of 10:50 BST. The cryptocurrency has lost 7.5% of its value over the past 24 hours. It’s market capitalisation currently stands at $65.6 billion, which represents 47.6% of the cryptocurrency market’s total value.
For further information on how to buy and trade Bitcoin, see our comprehensive Bitcoin guide.