Bitcoin has had a disastrous week, falling below $8,500 today as investors remain spooked about the future of cryptocurrencies. According to CoinDesk, Bitcoin opened at $9,052 today and hit a low of $7,695. At the time of writing, it had recovered slightly and was trading at $8,403, its lowest price since late November. Bitcoin is extremely volatile and has been declining for the past month.
Other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin have all plunged between 20 to 30 percent each, according to CoinMarketCap. It’s been a jarring turnaround for cryptocurrencies considering Bitcoin touched an all-time high of $19,783 on December 17th. Bitcoin had a stellar year in 2017, after starting at around $800 in January. Investors bought into the hype, pushing the price up to astronomical levels, with some reportedly even taking out mortgages or betting their entire life savings to invest.
That buzz has since fizzled. Though regulation for cryptocurrencies is still relatively nascent, it’s likely recent developments have continued to rattle investors. India recently said it doesn’t consider Bitcoin to be legal tender, Korea is planning a bill to completely ban domestic cryptocurrency trading, and China is increasinglyclamping on digital currencies.
Just a few days ago, Facebook announced it would ban advertisements for cryptocurrencies as part of an “intentionally broad” policy against deceptive marketers. (It should be noted that the ban isn’t permanent.)
Still, the mania surrounding cryptocurrencies isn’t completely dead. Samsung announced earlier this week that it is currently in the process of manufacturing processors designed specifically for cryptocurrency mining. Prices for graphics cards have also jumped, due to a shortage of stock as cryptocurrency miners buy them to build more powerful machines to mine the digital tokens.