Bitcoin slides below $6,000 mark

Updated / Tuesday, 6 Feb 2018 15:04

Bitcoin has fallen in six of the last eight trading sessions.

Bitcoin slid another 13% to below $6,000 today, bringing the world's best-known cryptocurrency's losses to more than half since the start of 2018.  

Bitcoin has fallen heavily in recent sessions as worries about a regulatory clampdown on the nascent market and panicked investors push prices lower. 

The virtual currency hit a peak of almost $20,000 in December. 

On the Luxembourg-based bitstamp exchange, bitcoin fell to as low as $5,920, its lowest level since mid-November, before recovering slightly. 

Bitcoin fell more than 15% yesterday to a nearly three-month low amid a slew of concerns ranging from a global regulatory clampdown to a ban on using credit cards to buy bitcoin by UK and US banks. 

Bitcoin has fallen in six of the last eight trading sessions. 

The currency, which surged more than 1,300% last year, has lost about half its value so far in 2018, as more governments and banks signal their intention for a regulatory crackdown. 

Last week bitcoin suffered its worst weekly performance since 2013.

Other cryptocurrencies also suffered double-digit declines yesterday, according to industry tracker Coinmarketcap.com. 

Ethereum, the second largest virtual currency, was last down nearly 19% at $703.40, while Ripple, the third largest, last traded at 71 cents, down 14.1%. 

Lloyds Banking Group said over the weekend that it was banning customers from using credit cards to buy bitcoin. 

It joined US banking giants JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup, which announced similar bans on concerns the lenders could be held liable when the volatile currencies plunge in value. 

Meanwhile, India said it was planning steps to make virtual currencies illegal within its payments system and to regulate the trading of crypto assets. 

The cryptocurrency sector has also attracted the spotlight after news of hacks and scams, including the roughly 58 billion yen ($532.9m) stolen in digital money from Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck two weeks ago.