Regulatory uncertainty shook the crypto markets on Thursday, as traders grappled with increasingly-credible rumors that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) will suspend trading at Chinese bitcoin exchanges. Weighed down by this tumultuous climate, the bitcoin price has fallen below $3,000 at Chinese markets.
The plunge has been both brisk and precipitous. In the past 12 hours alone, bitcoin has fallen by nearly 5,000 CNY on OKCoin–the equivalent of $738. Bitcoin is now trading at about 19,550 CNY ($2,979) at this exchange, whose $126 million BTC/CNY volume is the largest in the country.
But OKCoin is not an outlier. Every other major Chinese exchange prices bitcoin below the $3,000 mark as well. Huobi–which accounts for nearly $109 million in daily volume–has bitcoin trading at $2,983. On BTCC, which announced earlier today it will suspend trading on September 30, the bitcoin price is just $2,974. CHBTC values bitcoin at $2,973, while the lower-volume BtcTrade and ViaBTC price it at $2,990. Altogether, these six exchanges currently account for 13% of total bitcoin trading volume.
The overall bitcoin price has been weighed down by BTC/CNY, but it is still holding above $3,000–at least at the time of writing. Presently, bitcoin is valued at a global average of $3,252, which represents a daily decline of 17% and a weekly decline of 30%. The cryptocurrency market cap, which tracks the total value of all cryptocurrencies, now sits at just $112 billion after rising as high as $180 billion less than two weeks ago.
Industry observers disagree about where and when the market downturn will stall. Some, including trader WhalePanda and economist Tuur Demeester, believe a rebound is likely in the near future. Others, including Civic CEO Vinny Lingham and BitPay co-founder Tony Gallippi, predict that the bitcoin price could fall closer to the $2,500 to $2,750 range before the market turns a corner.
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