The Bitcoin price (BTC/USD) has lost more than $300 on Friday, after seeing a couple of steep drops earlier in the session.
The original cryptocurrency was stable on Thursday, trading in the $6,700 - $6,800 area. The digital coin finished the day at $6,729.74, slightly down from its opening level of $6,780.09.
Bitcoin remained at those levels during the first couple of hours on Friday, but then the coin experienced its first drop for the day, with its price falling to around $6,650. This was followed by an even steeper drop, which sent its price below the $6,500 mark. Since then, the cryptocurrency has continued to fall and is currently hovering around the $6,350 level.
The decline has affected the wider digital currency market too, with the vast majority of top 100 coins experiencing heavy losses. Bitcoin’s largest rivals, such as Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) have declined by at least 4% over the past 24 hours.
The slump may have been triggered by news that Japan’s financial watchdog has issued business improvement orders to six registered cryptocurrency exchanges, as a result of on-site probes conducted over recent month.
The Financial Services Agency announced today that it was ordering BitFlyer, Quoine, Bitbank, BITPoint, Tech Bureau and BtcBox to improve their internal-auditing and user-protection systems. The move confirms earlier reports, revealing the watchdog’s plans.
Following the FSA’s announcement, BitFlyer said that it had temporarily stopped accepting new customers in order to reexamine the IDs of "certain customers". The exchange told industry website Coindesk that it was “working closely with the FSA and will resume onboarding as soon as possible”. It also provided a list of improvements that it intends to introduce to its platform, such as user protection, data protection, risk management, new token listing, among others.
In today’s trading, the Bitcoin price stood at $6,363.29, as of 11:48 BST. The digital coin has lost 5.665 of its value in the past 24 hours, according to data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarketcap.
For further information on how to buy and trade Bitcoin, see our comprehensive Bitcoin guide.