Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, declined 9 per cent on Thursday to its lowest level since late November.
This slump in the poster child of cryptocurrencies can be attributed to recent Facebook ban on cryptocurrency adverts and a growing regulatory backlash expressed by India in its Budget 2018-19, presented today by Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange bitcoin fell to as low as $9,165, marking a more than 50 per cent fall from a peak of almost $20,000 hit in December. It slid more than 26 per cent last month, in its worst monthly performance since January 2015.
Facebook said in a post on its website this week that it was banning all adverts that "promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency".
Jaitley in his budget speech said today, "The Government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system."
A $530 million hack of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck late last week has also weighed on the market, along with a subpoena sent by US regulators to two of the world's biggest cryptocurrency players, Bitfinex and Tether.