Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple Are Suffering Massive Plunges Yet Again

January 16, 2018, 11:12 AM UTC

Bitcoin is falling again. On Tuesday morning, it fell as low as $11,750, representing a massive 24-hour drop of almost 15%.

The most popular cryptocurrency isn’t the only one to be sliding. Ethereum was down 21% to $1,046. Ripple, which has recently been picking up a lot of attention on the back of Bitcoin’s woes, was down 29% to $1.30.

Before the the last big crash in December, Bitcoin briefly peaked at around $19,600 before returning to a relatively sedate existence around the $15,000 mark. Then it fell more than 40% over a five-day period, before mostly regaining those losses.

As is so often the case, it’s not immediately clear what is responsible for the latest plunges. Until now, Bitcoin spent the last week slowly recovering from December’s crash, when South Korea’s government started talking about a cryptocurrency crackdown in response to the frenzied speculation around virtual currencies.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that China—which already banned cryptocurrency exchanges last year—is stepping up actions against other online and app-based services that offer exchange-like functionality.

Monday also saw reports emerge that BlackWallet, a provider of digital wallet services, suffered a clever attack that allowed someone to make off with hundreds of thousands of “lumens”—the virtual coin used by a system called Stellar—that had a total value of more than $400,000.