CryptoWatch: Bitcoin falls again, now down 20% on the week


Digital currencies took another step lower Thursday as momentum from the previous day’s selloff proved tough to overcome.

The price of the No. 1 digital currency, bitcoin

BTCUSD, -0.73%

 plummeted to a three-week low of $9,075.87 and is now down more than 20% this week. After bottoming out just above $9,000, it traded back to $9,391.58, down 5.3% on the day.

After a relatively quiet start to trading Thursday, all major cryptocurrencies plunged, losing about 5% in the space of an hour, with some pointing to a technical break as the reason for the sharp move.

However, others were more mystified. “This time, beats me,” said Jeff Koyen, president of 360 Blockchain USA.

Regulation remains in the spotlight

Regulation was back in the spotlight after two cryptocurrency exchanges were suspended in Japan over what Nikkei said was “not taking adequate steps to protect customers and money laundering.”

Read: Japan suspends two cryptocurrency exchanges in hopes of strengthening security

That follows Wednesday’s statement from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that warned investors of investing in non-regulated and exchanges and called for tighter restrictions across all trading avenues.

“If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an ‘exchange,’ as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration,” the SEC said.

Read: SEC warns that platforms allowing buying and selling of tokens may be illegal

Elsewhere, ether was down 5.5% at $714.66; bitcoin cash was off 4.3% at $1,048.87; Litecoin was down 3.1% at $180.16; and Ripple continued to slide, falling 2.7% to 85 cents.

Futures markets followed suit. The Cboe Global Markets March contract

XBTH8, -4.93%

finished down 4% at $9,440, and the CME Group Inc. March contract

BTCH8, -4.55%

closed down 4% at $9,400.

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