Markets for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have fallen over the course of the day, following contested reports that regulators in China are looking to shut down the country’s exchange ecosystem.
CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) is currently at about $4,184, representing a nearly 10 percent decline since the start of the day’s trading. Markets peaked today at $4,698.73, per the BPI, though prices began to tumble around 13:20 UTC.
Additional data from CoinMarketCap reveals that – perhaps unsurprisingly – China’s top bitcoin exchanges are reporting some of the steepest price declines. The BTC/CNY market on OKCoin is at $3,650.71, while Huobi and BTCC are reporting prices of $3,657.84 and $3,656.57, respectively, at press time.
Other major bitcoin exchanges, including Bitfinex and Bistamp, are reporting current prices above the $4,100 level, according to data from BitcoinWisdom.
As reported earlier today, Chinese news source Caixin, citing unnamed sources, said that regulators are looking to shut down the exchanges. That decision, the newspaper claimed, has already been made and disseminated to other sources. Yet in the wake of that story, exchanges in China said they haven’t receive any notices from the Chinese government, casting doubt on the veracity of the Caixin report.
Amidst the uncertainty, other cryptocurrency markets have seen notable declines as well. Ether prices are down more than 10 percent today, trading at around $295.93. Broad market declines have pushed the collective cryptocurrency market capitalization below $150 billion, after spending several days above the $160 billion level.