Bitcoin was trading at $14,400 on Wednesday, down more than five percent from the previous session. It has also been losing its dominance over the cryptocurrency market; only 34 percent of digital money is now bitcoin. On the same day last year, its share was 85 percent.
The market cap of bitcoin has fallen to $242 billion on Wednesday as against $294 billion on January 7, according to the Coinmarketcap data.
It seems that investors are fleeing bitcoin because of the rumours that regulators in both China and South Korea are on the verge of cracking down on the industry. As these two countries have a dominant share of the global cryptocurrency trade, this could have a big impact on prices.
Regulators in China plan to kill the country’s bitcoin mining industry, as Beijing is concerned about excessive electricity consumption, financial risk and capital outflows, the Financial Times reported.
Coinmarketcap, one of the most acknowledged cryptocurrency indices, has added to anxiety after it removed a group of Korean exchanges from its data set.
“We excluded some Korean exchanges in price calculations due to the extreme divergence in prices from the rest of the world and limited arbitrage opportunity,” Coinmarketcap said on Twitter.
Some other cryptocurrencies have been hit, too. Among them were ripple and cardano, which slid 25 percent and 19 percent respectively on the previous day.
By contrast, the second-largest cryptocurrency, ethereum, has grown 84 percent since the New Year and was trading near its record high of $1,390.