Bitcoin plunges below $40,000 as China widens its crypto crackdown
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are plunging as anxiety spreads through the market — this time, after China took more steps to crack down on the digital coins.
The world's most heavily traded cryptocurrency plunged as low as $30,202 per coin from a high of nearly $44,000 in the past 24 hours, according to data from Coindesk.
Bitcoin recovered slightly following the New York stock market open and was down 15% at around $37,280.
Alongside bitcoin's fall, several other major cryptos were down Wednesday. Ethereum plummeted below $2,000 per unit at its low before reclaiming some of its lost ground. Ether was down nearly 30% at $2,430 Wednesday morning. The meme-turned-cryptocurrency dogecoin lost nearly 26%.
Cyrpto trading platforms Coinbase (COIN) and Coindesk experienced outages as a result of the selloff.
Bitcoin was already dropping this month after Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said he was wary of its environmental impact. But a new announcement from a trio of Chinese finance and banking watchdogs appears to have shocked cryptocurrency markets even more.
The agencies said Tuesday that financial institutions and payment companies should not participate in any transactions related to cryptocurrency, nor should they provide crypto-related services to their clients.