Bitcoin has plummeted to a 14-week low after China reiterated that digital tokens or cryptocurrencies cannot be used as a form of payment. Bitcoin dropped to below $35,000, the lowest level since February, after hitting an all-time high of $64,895 in mid-April.
China has prohibited financial institutions and payment companies from providing cryptocurrency-related services and transactions. They warned investors against speculative cryptocurrency trading.
China’s three industry bodies – the National Internet Finance Association of China, the China Banking Association, as well as the Payment and Clearing Association of China – said in a joint statement that institutions, including banks and online payment channels, must not offer clients any service involving cryptocurrency, such as registration, trading, clearing, and settlement, under the ban.
They added that cryptocurrencies nature of speculative trading is “seriously infringing on the safety of people’s property and disrupting the normal economic and financial order.”
The world’s most popular cryptocurrency began its downward trend just a few days after it recently peaked in April following regulatory hurdles and Turkey’s central bank banning the use of cryptocurrencies and crypto assets to purchase goods and services.
A month later, Bitcoin slid further to below $45,000 after Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk expressed concern through his tweet about the “increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.”
Musk also backtracked from his earlier position and said Tesla would no longer accept the cryptocurrency as a payment means for its electric cars because of climate concerns, considering the high energy consumption while mining Bitcoin.
Musk, who was a strong supporter of cryptocurrency, suggested initially that Tesla may be planning to offload its bitcoin holdings, only to retract the statement immediately.
The luxury electric car maker had disclosed in a regulatory filing in early February that it invested an aggregate of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, expecting to accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its products in the near future. Following Tesla’s move, Bitcoin began its surge to reach its all-time high in mid-April.
Bitcoin is currently trading at $34,312, down more than 20 percent in 24 hours and down more than 45 percent of its peak, as of this writing. BTC’s current market capitalization is $644.15 billion and global trade volume is $85 billion.
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