Bitcoin fell to the lowest level in more than a month after a report that Chinese regulators are cracking down again on the cryptocurrency, targeting mobile apps and online platforms used for trading. South Korea’s government is also debating how to contain the mania in digital assets after raiding two exchanges last week.
Losses were spreading to dozens of other cryptoassets, with ethereum declining 19% and ripple plummeting 29%, according to Coinmarketcap.com. Bitcoin dropped to $12,012.50 today, the lowest since Dec. 5, according to Coindesk prices.
The Chinese government plans to block domestic access to local and offshore platforms that provide centralized trading, according to Bloomberg, citing unidentified sources. Officials are also targeting people who provide trading services like market making (providing bids and offers) and other market infrastructure, while smaller transactions between individuals may be permitted.
China’s crackdown started last year. It began by banning initial coin offerings (ICOs), which meld aspects of crowd funding and virtual currencies. Then it targeted local exchanges, telling them to halt trading in digital assets. More recently, authorities have looked to discourage bitcoin mining.