Bitcoin on Wednesday dropped below $10,000, almost 50% below its December peak, as the cryptocurrency market entered the second day of a sell-off and the BITCOIN CRASH-CRYPTO CRASH EXPLAINED-DON’T PANIC!

Almost all major cryptocurrencies fell on Tuesday and the market slump has extended into Wednesday. The combined value of the more than 1,400 cryptocurrencies in circulation has fallen to about $460 billion on Wednesday from over $800 billion at the start of January, data from shows.

The causes of the sell-off are far from clear, with several theories making the rounds. Here’s a roundup of what analysts and market participants are saying about the BITCOIN CRASH-CRYPTO CRASH EXPLAINED-DON’T PANIC!

Worries about a regulatory crackdown
The most popular theory among market commentators is that fears about a regulatory crackdown in Asia are driving the sell-off.

“The sell-off comes amid concerns of fresh crackdowns on virtual currencies by the South Korean and Chinese government and as governments across the globe are struggling at how best to regulate bitcoin,” Fiona Cincotta, an analyst with City Index, said in an email on Wednesday.

Fawad Razaqzada, a market analyst with, also said in an email on Wednesday: “Cryptos have been held back in recent days amid increasing levels of scrutiny from regulators, most notably in South Korea, where the government is planning to clamp down on trading in virtual currencies.
“The justice ministry is apparently working on a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges. If the bill is eventually passed by the National Assembly, it would be very bad news, given that South Korea is the world’s third-largest market for cryptocurrencies. The uncertainty is weighing on investor sentiment.”

Aside from South Korean regulatory pressure, Russia is also signalling that it could crack down on cryptocurrencies. Russian President Vladamir Putin said “legislative regulation will be definitely required in future” for cryptocurrencies.

FXPro said in its daily client email on Tuesday that “the market seems overwhelmed by rumours regarding a complete currency ban in South Korea and the prohibition of mining in China due to high electricity consumption.”

“What’s more, it was today reported that Chinese financial authorities plan to block domestic access to cryptocurrency trading platforms,” it added this BITCOIN CRASH-CRYPTO CRASH EXPLAINED-DON’T PANIC!

Investors are already getting a taste of what a market without South Korean activity could look like — and this may also be playing a role in the cryptocurrency “bloodbath.”

Mati Greenspan, an analyst with the trading platform eToro, told Business Insider on Tuesday that volumes from Japan and South Korea had been tailing off in recent days. Traders in these markets are usually buyers, and a large-scale exit could have created an imbalance in the market, with more sellers than buyers driving down prices and sparking a panic.

“As we noted yesterday, there’s been a trend from South Korea and Japan of lower volumes these last few weeks,” Greenspan said in a note to clients on Wednesday. “That did indeed come up a bit yesterday but is still nowhere near what it was in November/December.”

Greenspan provided these graphs from showing how Korean won bitcoin volume had recently declined:

Greenspan said the pickup in volumes on Tuesday showed that “the two countries, especially Japan, are indeed starting to nibble at the lower prices.”

“Indeed, the premiums have also come down a bit, and price in the top two crypto trading countries are now more normal compared to the rest of the world.”


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