The price of Bitcoin fell below $9000, causing a loss of more than $100 billion in just 24 hours, when India announced ban on cryptocurrencies.
The current price of Bitcoin, as per Coindesk, is $8135, which is less than half of what it was fetching just six weeks ago, when it hit $19000 mark in mid-December.
The ban of cryptocurrencies in India was claimed to be based on illegal use among criminals. The ban not only includes cryptocurrency exchanges, but all uses of cryptocurrencies within its borders.
“The government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,” said Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, India, in his 2018 budget speech.
However, he backed up blockchain, and said that Indian government would explore the potential of blockchain technology, to accelerate the move toward digital economy.
The price of other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and Ripple fell by 22% and 32% respectively, as compared to a day ago.
In a nationwide survey, it was found that India exhibited transactions of more than $3.5 billion over a 17-month period. Before announcing the cryptocurrency ban, the income tax authorities of India had sent notices to tens of thousands of people in the country who deal in cryptocurrencies.
“Bitcoin is in trouble,” said Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at foreign exchange broker Forextime Ltd. “Price action suggests that bears are clearly in control, with further losses on the cards as jitters over regulation erode investor appetite further.”
The rapid fluctuation in the Bitcoin price is causing a huge loss to investors. Last month, Microsoft had stopped accepting Bitcoins as payment methods for its products. However, the software giant resumed the Bitcoin support within a week.