Cryptocurrencies appear to be in freefall, with Bitcoin falling below the $8,000 for the first time since its meteoric rise last year.
Bitcoin passed $7,947 on 19 November on its way to a high of $19,791 less than a month later on 17 December.
The cryptocurrency bubble appears to be bursting, however, with prices steadily falling as governments around the world crack down on cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to specialist website coinmarketcap.com, all major digital currencies are down anywhere between up to 35% on the day in a big sell-off.
Etherium down 32%
Bitcoin is now trading at $7,826, down 17% on the day, reducing its market cap to $7.98bn (12:45pm GMT).
Other digital currencies have also been hit. Etherium, the second biggest by market capitalisation, is down 32% at $760, having reached a high of $1,416 on 13 January.
Ripple, the third largest cryptocurrency is trading at around $0.64, a 37% fall, having reached $3.36 at the start of January.
Just last Friday leading cryptocurrency expert Bobby Lee Lee, co-founder of Chinese bitcoin exchange BTCC shut down by authorities last year, said there was a “global pattern to suppress Bitcoin”.
“This is how it’s been for the last five years. This is how it’s going to be for the next five years. So get used to it,” said Lee, who is brother of Litecoin founder Charlie Lee.
Crackdown 'will gather pace'
Speaking on CNBC last week, Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, warned government crackdowns on cryptocurrencies would gather pace.
“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a way for bad dictators or criminals to bypass sanctions and so from my perspective, and I think from the perspective of politicians around the world, governments are not going to allow that to happen,” he said.