The price of the digital currency fell below the $4,000 mark today, just few days after reaching an all-time high of $5,000 earlier this month.
The virtual currency has grown by more than 350% this year, in view of the rising demand in Asia, global political uncertainty, and an increased adoption of blockchain. However, the uncertainty observed on the investment market has influenced bitcoin, which lost 20% in value since the start of September.
The recent news about China’s plans to shut down bitcoin exchanges has provoked investor concerns about the future of the digital currency. The rumors about the ban pushed the price of bitcoin to as low as $4084 on Friday. Still, the cryptocurrency started to recover this week, reaching $4286 on Tuesday.
At press time, the digital currency is trading at $3,912, according to CoinMarketCap, while its market cap is worth more than $64 billion.
According to numerous media sources, the Chinese regulators are going to ban trading of digital currencies on all domestic exchanges due to high risks related to virtual money. The government’s request will affect biggest bitcoin trading platforms, including Huobi, OKCoin, and BTC China. The ban, however, is not yet official.
The move follows the recent decision by the Chinese central bank to ban all ICOs, a new fundraising tool that has become extremely popular since the beginning of the year. The authorities claimed that this type of funding is too risky and ordered startups that raised money via crowdsales to return all the funds to investors.
Some consider that China’s regulatory move is just the beginning and that bitcoin speculative bubble is about to collapse. According to an article by Forbes, if happen, the crash of the digital currency will directly affect not only bitcoin investors, but the whole ICO ecosystem, including buyers, sellers, and infrastructure providers. Besides, it may have a negative impact on all altcoins, such as Ethereum, and even blockchain-powered business models that do not directly deal with bitcoin.
According to investors, bitcoin is now the most crowded trade in financial markets. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch has recently surveyed more than 200 fund managers with $629 billion under management. 26% of responders said they consider bitcoin to be the most crowded, 22% mentioned the long Nasdaq trade, and 21% cited the short dollar trade as the most crowded.
The CEO of JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon, called bitcoin a fraud while speaking at a bank investor conference in New York on Tuesday. “The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart,” he said.
He commented that if any of JPMorgan traders were using the cryptocurrency, “I would fire them in a second, for two reasons: It is against our rules and they are stupid, and both are dangerous.”