Bitcoin took a tumble on Wednesday, dropping as much as 20 percent and dipping below the $10,000 mark, Reuters reported. By early evening, however, the currency had rebounded, hitting $11,153.21 at 5:25 P.M. according to CoinDesk.
Bitcoin wasn’t alone in its fall, as other cryptocurrencies lost value over investor concerns that regulators would take measures to curb speculation. Ethereum and Ripple, which are the second- and third-most popular cryptocurrencies after bitcoin, also fell following reports that South Korea and China could ban trading of cryptocurrencies. The news stoked fear of a wider regulatory crackdown.
“There is a lot of panic in the market. People are selling to try and get the hell out of there,” Charles Hayter, founder of Cryptocompare, told Reuters. “You have more regulatory uncertainty … and because of these falls, you have these other fallouts.”
Bitcoin may not have hit its bottom Wednesday, as Citi analysts said the cryptocurrency could fall below $6,000 to a range between $5,605 and $5,673.
Earlier in 2018, the price of bitcoin fell overnight, following reports that South Korea had decided to ban cryptocurrency trading. At the time, police and tax authorities had reportedly been raiding local exchanges on alleged tax evasion charges.
But the cryptocurrency rebounded — and gained back a little more than half its lost value — in a rally after Reuters reported that South Korea’s presidential office said the planned ban “had not yet been finalized.”
And, in 2017, bitcoin prices were hit by a significant downdraft in the wake of news that Chinese regulators put in place a ban on initial coin offerings, also known as ICOs.
The price of the digital currency slipped by more than $200, to $4,350 after the announcement. Pricing rebounded a bit — to about $4,350 in trading in Europe at the time.
Overall, bitcoin has exploded in value, as regular investors are clamoring to get in on the action. Bitcoin started 2017 trading around $1,000 and reached $19,000 last year.