Markets

Bitcoin falls as global pressure on cryptocurrencies heats up

Bitcoin has fallen to its lowest level yet this year in the wake of tougher global action and increased scrutiny of the worlds biggest virtual currency.

The cryptocurrency fell over five per cent today from $5,920 (£4,462) to $5,825, having reached a high of nearly $20,000 late last year.

As the first decentralised digital currency, Bitcoin has seen huge growth since it emerged in 2009. Initially a forum for alternative investors, the cryptocurrency has risen to become a mainstream tool of exchange across the world.

Read more: Bitcoin slumps to four-month low

However, prospects of a regulatory crackdown have grown in the wake of the virtual currency showing signs of vulnerability.

A recent hack on South Koreas cryptocurrency Bithumb has put pressure on regulators to make changes, and Japans Financial Services Agency demanded improvements from six of the countrys heavyweight crypto-trading venues last week to stem money laundering.

Read more: Goldman Sachs considering expanding bitcoin operations further

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has also made efforts to cut down cryptocurrency-related fraud.

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