Bitcoin slides 70pc from $20,000 high

Bitcoin dropped to the lowest level this year as pressure mounts on the embryonic digital-currency sector, with global central bankers raising questions of viability and government regulators increasing scrutiny.

The biggest virtual currency fell as much as 5.1pc to $5,832.68 (€5,000) yesterday, piercing the previous low of the year of $5,920.72 (€5,074) that was set on February 6.

That brought its decline from the record high of almost $20,000 (€17,141) in December to 70pc.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency ordered six of the country’s biggest crypto-trading venues to improve measures to prevent money laundering. The companies must submit their plans by July 23.

New pressure in Japan, one of the most crypto-friendly jurisdictions, demonstrated the market’s fragility to regulatory moves in the absence of much positive news.

Virtual money also came under fresh pressure in recent weeks after two South Korean exchanges said they were hacked.

India’s central bank gave commercial lenders until early July to stop providing services with any company dealing with digital coins, in an order that’s reportedly being challenged in courts.

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