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Cryptocurrency collapse continues

Bitcoin skims $4,000 mark as split and regulatory action cause uncertainty

Bitcoin reached lows of $4,051 in trading yesterday.
Bitcoin reached lows of $4,051 in trading yesterday.

Cryptocurrencies continue to collapse, as a drop in Bitcoin value has prompted a sell off across the sector.

The value of bitcoin has fallen by nearly 25% in the past week, trading as low as $4,051 yesterday. Ether and Litecoin both lost as much as 16% of value.

The drop follows a relative period of stability in the cryptocurrency market, although bitcoin is already well off the near-$20,000 valuations of last December.

Market analysts have attributed the latest to drop to several factors. On Friday, the US SEC fined two two cryptocurrency companies $250,000 each, for failing to register their initial coin offerings as securities.

The US Justice Department is also reported to be investigating previously published claims that last year's rise in bitcoin was driven by market manipulation of another cryptocurrency, Tether.

The latest sell-off also coincided with a split in Bitcoin Cash, the main version of Bitcoin, to divide the the currency into two separate streams. The ‘hard fork' came into effect last week, as a result of disagreement in the bitcoin developer community over the best way to upgrade the currency.

Rival proposals for the network upgrade by Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV are not compatible, which resulted in a split into two separate versions of Bitcoin, which appears to have been a major cause of disruption in the market.