Though it is only 2 February, the influential Financial Times (the European equivalent of the Wall Street Journal) entitled an article today ‘Bitcoin is having a bad year’.
Of course you never know what will happen in the rest of 2018 but some are already thinking about the whole Mt Gox events of 2014 and the effect that had on crypto currencies.
Bitcoin dropped a steep 13% to its next technical support level around $7.8k - $8k. It had ended last year at $13,800, having climbed as high as $19,666 in a rally spurred by enthusiasm from a sect of smaller first time traders as well as increasing interest from institutional investors.
However this year, sentiment has shifted drastically, as the best known of all cryptocurrencies has taken a number of blows. This week, Facebook banned advertisements for cryptocurrencies amid concerns that too many were being used to mislead potential customers.
Bitcoin was trading at $7.887 at the time of writing.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also this week accused AriseBank and its co-founders of perpetrating an “outright scam” in an initial coin offering that purportedly raised some $600m from investors.
Over in Asia, officials from Japan’s Financial Services Agency over the weekend raided the offices of Coincheck, a cryptocurrencies exchange, to monitor its response to a purported $500m hack.
And in India, Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley claimed in his annual budget speech this week that the government ‘does not view cryptocurrencies as a form of legal tender.’
His comments have led many to believe that the Indian government who is cracking down hard on the country’s infamous ‘black market economy’ will soon move to ban cryptocurrencies outright, although it remains to be seen what specific measures the government will introduce following Mr Jaitley's speech.