Though global stock markets reversed their two-day downtrend on Wednesday, aiming to end January with the second-best yearly start in history, bitcoin was unable to ride the wave of optimism as the most popular cryptocurrency faced yet another round of harsh selloffs. As reported by Coinbase, bitcoin was priced at $10,098.62 at 11:27 a.m. GMT, down $3,203.10 since last month, a 24.08 percent decline. January’s performance showed the worst monthly loss for bitcoin since December 2013.
The selloff was prompted by reports that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sent subpoenas to the bitcoin exchanges Bitfinex and Tether, and on the heels of continued reports that global regulators will be cracking down on bitcoin trading or banning it entirely, as proposed in South Korea. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said earlier on Wednesday that all cryptocurrency services must have strict security measures in place, and that Japan’s financial regulator will be inspecting all cryptocurrency exchanges. These increased security measures came after the Tokyo-based exchange, Coincheck, was hacked last week, with hackers stealing $530 million of digital currency. The Coincheck heist has underscored the need for tighter regulation and security, a requirement that has been shown to make cryptocurrency traders nervous.
A Social Blow to Cryptocurrency
In other crypto-related news, Facebook announced on Tuesday that it will begin banning all cryptocurrency advertisements, as well as ads for ICOs and binary options trading. Facebook founder Marc Zuckerberg has vowed to investigate cryptocurrencies as part of his commitment to correct recurrent problems on Facebook (which also includes hate speech and the spread of misinformation). Zuckerberg has also promised to research how the positive and negative aspects of encryption and cryptocurrency technology can be positively integrated into the Facebook platform