Yo-yoing digital currency Bitcoin is stable again today after its price plummeted to a two-month low of sub-$7,000.
The decline came after several banks around the world banned their customers from using credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies, fearing they’d have to pay for unpaid debts that result from price fluctuations. On Tuesday, it was trading at just $6,430.30, down two-thirds on its all-time high of nearly $20,000 value from mid-December.
However, data on crypto currency go-to, Coinmarketcap.com, showed that Bitcoin surged by 26% in the last 24 hours to past the $8,000 mark following the temporary crash, along with many other popular digital currencies, including Ethereum, which is up 32%, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash, which both rose 22% and Cardano, which is up 25%. Bitcoin is now trading at $8,496.17 (at the time of writing).
Out of the top 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies, all have seen a boost of at least 20%. It’s unknown what exactly caused the rise and fall and rise again of the currencies, but Bitcoin and the like are known for being particularly volatile, meaning there’s no real way of knowing if it’s prospering or about to take a nose dive into the black.
Nevertheless, the news of the currency’s growth is encouraging news for investors, many of whom were probably a little sweaty palmed when news of the crash spread yesterday.
Bitcoin is continuing to plummet in price and has hit the sub-$7,000 mark for the first time since last November.
On digital currency exchange Coinbase, the cryptocurrency is now trading at just $6,430.30 (at time of writing), down two-thirds on its all-time high of nearly $20,000 value from mid-December.
Coindesk spotted the same issue hitting other cryptocurrencies such as Ripple, which is down 14% and Ethereum’s Ether, which has also dropped 13% in the last 24 hours.
The decline comes after several banks around the world banned their customers from using credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies, fearing they’d have to pay for unpaid debts that result from price fluctuations.
However, according to CoinMarketCap, the current total market capitalisation of all digital currencies taken together is up, standing at $397 billion, which is a decent increase of 14% from Friday’s figure of $348 billion.
05/02/2018: Lloyds Bank bans credit card customers from buying Bitcoin
Lloyds Banking Group has blocked its customers from buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with their credit cards.
Starting from today, the ban affects all eight million credit card customers of Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA.
The decision comes after Bitcoin saw a drop of 30% to just over $8,200 on Friday, the lowest it has been for almost five years, while it plunged further to $7,829 this morning from a high of nearly $20,000 over Christmas.
Lloyds is reportedly worried it will have to foot the bill for unpaid debts should the price of Bitcoin continue to drop. However, the ban is said to only affect credit card purchases, and customers will still be able to use their debit cards to buy cryptocurrencies.
Commenting on the decision, a Lloyds spokeswoman told the BBC: “We continually review our products and procedures and this is part of that.”
IT Pro has contacted Lloyds for comment.
Lloyds isn’t the only bank in the world declining purchases of cryptocurrencies. In the US, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup all halted purchases of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on their credit cards on Saturday, as they don’t want the credit risk associated with the transactions.
UK games platform Steam dropped support for Bitcoin last December due to the currency’s fluctuations, which resulted in unpredictable transaction fees for users.
02/02/2018: A series of clampdowns and advertising bans have rocked the cryptocurrency market, sending prices plummeting and wiping off hundreds of billions of dollars almost overnight.
Bitcoin saw its price sink to $8,200 on Friday morning, officially undoing its December surge which saw prices rocket from $8,300 to just under $20,000 over the course of 30 days, marking the steepest decline in the currency’s history.
The slide began after news emerged that Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, was being investigated by the US Futures Trading Commission over its ties with a digital asset known as Tether.
Tether was designed to be a one-to-one with the US dollar, allowing for the benefits of cryptocurrency trading with the stability of a fiat currency. However, concerns were raised after critics claimed the reserves were under-capitalised, with more Tether tokens being created than the amount of US dollars being deposited to support the currency.
There are currently two billion Tether tokens in circulation, yet Bitfinex has yet to provide evidence that there is $2 billion in its accounts.
The market was hit again when the Indian government said it would move to ban all cryptocurrency trading in the country, and yet again when Facebook announced it would be placing a ban on all cryptocurrency and ICO advertisements on its platform, citing mistrust of the industry and the potential for users to be misled by shaky investment opportunities.
The series of bullish moves against the cryptocurrency industry has meant the likes of Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin have struggled to recover from its most recent slump following the now abandoned proposals by the South Korean government to ban trading in the country.
99 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap were down as much as 35% at the time of writing, including the surprise hit Ripple which is currently trading at $0.7, almost half that of its all-time high in December.