With fresh concerns about government regulation of cryptocurrency surfacing, Bitcoin and other digital tokens continued the recent declines in value, erasing $550 billion in value for the global cryptocurrency market since the start of 2018.
Citing Japan’s Nikkei Business Daily, TheStreet.com reported that two cryptocurrency exchange startups took back their applications to the Financial Services Agency in Japan after they were told to beef up their security features. It comes after a theft of Coincheck, a crypto exchange, that lost $500 million in tokens as a result of the heist.
Meanwhile, Twitter, the social media company, announced plans to join Google and Facebook in no longer running cryptocurrency ads on their platforms. Earlier in March, the Bank of International Settlements issued a warning to global central banks that were thinking of launching a central bank digital currency to carefully consider it before making a move. The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said cryptocurrencies were “failing” and called for a crackdown of the market around the globe while the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued subpoenas as part of an inquiry into initial coin offerings. “I think our Main Street investors look at these virtual currency platforms and assume they are regulated in the same way that a stock is regulated and, as I said, it’s far from that and I think we should address that,” SEC chairman Jay Clayton told lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee in February, according to TheStreet.com. “Those who engage in semantic gymnastics or elaborate re-structuring exercises in an effort to avoid having a coin be a security are squarely in the crosshairs of our enforcement provision.”
All of this steady drumbeat of negative news has weighed on the cryptocurrency market, which fears more regulation. After all, one of the appeals of digital tokens is that they are not regulated and are anonymous. For the week so far, Bitcoin was down 16%, noted TheStreet.com, citing the Bitstamp exchange in Luxembourg. That exchange provides pricing for CME’s bitcoin futures. For the quarter, the value of Bitcoin is down 47.8%, noted the report.