Bitcoin has lost more than 50 per cent of its value since mid-December, sliding amidst escalating regulatory threats, international banks blocking crypto purchases and fears of fraud and hacking.
Bitcoin’s price has been on a wild ride, from about $1,000 this time last year, shooting up to over $19,000 before dropping down to its current value of around $8,000.
Bitcoin is the most prominent cryptocurrency, but there are more than 1,500 others out there. Startups offer new coins, or tokens, in events known as ICOs, or initial coin offerings. Beware: between 14 to 30 per cent of ICOs are fraudulent, according to Christian Catalini, an assistant professor at MIT Sloan School of Management who studies cryptocurrencies.
On January 30, Facebook announced that it would not allow ads that peddle ICOs or cryptocurrencies to block scammers and fraudsters.
In the USA, Citigroup, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase have stopped people purchasing cryptocurrency with a credit card, while in the UK, Lloyds Banking Group and Virgin Money have followed suit.
Meanwhile, China has reportedly blocked anyone in the country from accessing websites that offer cryptocurrency trades or ICOs.
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