Investors are selling cryptocurrencies at an alarming rate.
Bitcoin, the largest digital currency, briefly fell below $6,000 for the first time since mid-November on Monday, according to data from CoinDesk, having fallen below $7,000 less than 24 hours before.
Coindesk, whose price indices track major exchanges, showed that bitcoin plunged to $5,957 at about 3 a.m. Eastern Time. The digital currency has since recovered some of those losses, but remains a long way off the near $20,000 highs it reached at the end of last year.
Other major cryptocurrencies, Ethereum and Ripple, also experienced sharp sell-offs. Ethereum traded at about $577 on Tuesday, according to Coindesk, marking a 60 percent decline on the all-time high of $1,432.88 it reached Jan. 13. Meanwhile, Ripple’s valuation fell more than 80 percent from the record high of $3.81 it recorded earlier this month.
Nervousness surrounding the three biggest digital currencies came after a number of potentially damaging developments came to light. Over the past week, cryptocurrency investors have been warned about hackers, potential price manipulation and the increasing possibility of tighter regulation.
Authorities in China, the world’s second largest economy, are reportedly stepping up efforts to clamp down on international cryptocurrency trading. China’s government previously imposed restrictions on domestic digital currency trading last year and banned initial coin offerings in September. (See also: China To Crack Down On International Cryptocurrency Trading By Its Citizens.)
Meanwhile, in the U.S., regulators are expected to soon tell politicians that greater oversight of digital currencies is required. The chiefs of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are set to report their findings to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.
These potentially developments emerged after some of the world’s biggest banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Citigroup Inc., (C) pledged to ban their credit card customers from making cryptocurrency purchases.
Other recent worries include India’s pledge to eliminate the use of digital currencies and reports from some experts that tether is potentially being created to prop up the price of bitcoin. (See also: Leaked Photo Suggests NSA Infiltrated Cryptocurrencies.)