Bitcoin prices fall below $9,000 on regulatory concerns


Bitcoin fell below $9,000 during Friday afternoon Asia trade, extending losses seen earlier in the week when it dropped below the key $10,000 level.

The cryptocurrency fell as low as $8,370.80, down 24 percent for the week, according to CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index. Bitcoin recovered to near $8,995 as of 8:02 a.m., ET.

That’s still a loss of about $2,000 for the week. Bitcoin failed to break above a key level near $12,000 on Monday that technical analysts were watching after a slew of negative headlines hit the cryptocurrency market this week.

Bitcoin this week

Source: CoinDesk

On Wednesday, the head of Hong Kong-based Binance said there were trading irregularities and some accounts may have been compromised due to phishing, but later said all irregular trades were reversed.

Separately Wednesday, a report of a sale by the trustee of funds from collapsed Japanese crypto exchange Mt.Gox also contributed to the negative sentiment.

In a court document filed Wednesday, Tokyo attorney and bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi announced that he had sold roughly $400 million in bitcoin and bitcoin cash and plans to consult with the court on “further sale” of those assets.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also said Wednesday that exchanges offering trading of “digital assets that are securities” would have to register with the agency. That statement followed subpoenas and information requests across the cryptocurrency industry.

Regulatory developments in the Asia Pacific region also likely put a dampener on prices this week.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency issued punishment notices to a number of exchanges in the country on Thursday, Reuters reported. Regulators also suspended operations at Bit Station and FSHO for a month, the news agency reported.

Regulatory scrutiny in the country increased after $530 million worth of virtual tokens were stolen from Coincheck, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, earlier this year.

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng and Thomas Franck contributed to this report.

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