The Bitcoin price (BTC/USD) has dropped below the $9,000 mark following reports of increased regulatory scrutiny in Japan that weighed on the wider cryptocurrency market on Thursday.
The original cryptocurrency fell to an intraday low of $8,564.90, before closing at $8,728.47, down from its opening price level of $8,939.44.
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The drop was triggered by media reports, suggesting that Japan’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency, planned to issue a warning against Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance for operating in the country without registration. These reports were initially denied by Binance’s chief executive officer Changpeng Zhao, who said on Twitter that the company had not received any mandates from the FSA and accused the Nikkei Asian Review newspaper, which was the first to report the news, of showing “irresponsible journalism”.
However, the reports were confirmed today, as the FSA issued a formal warning to the exchange, ordering it to suspend its operations in Japan. The regulator’s statement did not mention a deadline, but The Financial Times reports that officials said they expected the suspension order to be complied with immediately.
Speaking to the British newspaper Zhao said that the exchange was “working with the JFSA on solutions”, though he declined to comment on whether the trading platform had halted its operations in Japan. Zhao added that the country represented Binance’s second-largest user base by geography, but only accounted for 7% of the platform’s trading volume.
“Either way, it will have zero impact on non-Japanese users,” he said, as quoted by the FT.
In today’s trading, the Bitcoin price stood at $8,516.86, as of 11:06 GMT. The digital currency has lost 3% of its value in the past 24 hours, according to data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarketcap.