The star cryptodevise, already in decline for a few weeks, has seen its price plummet to $6400. At the end of December Bitcoin was quoted at 20,000 $.
"It is necessary to see behind this movement the tightening of regulations and the fact that investors are losing confidence" in virtual currencies, especially after the hacking of the Japanese trading platform Coincheck, Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific transactions at Oanda, a financial services company specialising in the foreign exchange market, told AFP. On January 26, Coincheck lost the equivalent of some $530 million in the hacking of NEM virtual currency assets, the largest theft to date in the history of cryptomoney.
Last week was "the worst week for Bitcoin since January 2015", noted the experts at Mirabaud Securities Geneva. Monetary authorities and financial players around the world have further hardened their stance on virtual currencies in recent days. In China, where trading platforms had already had to cease their operations in September, the government now wants to stifle the ultimate transactions of cryptomoney, indicated an official media on Monday. In particular, the authorities have blocked access to trading platforms. The drop in Bitcoin "is mainly due (...) to the willingness of the Chinese authorities to tighten the rules on encryption," Daisuke Yasaku of the Daiwa research institute told AFP.
In the United Kingdom, Lloyds Banking Group announced on the same day that it had banned purchases of Bitcoin by its credit card customers, following the example of several major US banks that fear debt problems. The president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, also warned on Monday against cryptomoney, assets that are "very risky" and whose price is "entirely speculative". The British government had called at the end of January to regulate Bitcoin quickly, before it ended up posing a real threat to the financial system.