Cryptocurrencies plummeted on Monday, with Bitcoin slumping below its $5,000 level as increased regulatory scrutiny prompted investors in initial coin offerings to sell their holdings. The sell-off that started accelerating last week continued on Monday, pushing Bitcoin to a fresh low level since 12 October 2017.
The first cryptocurrency and the most valued among others was down to $4,700 during US trading hours. Experts say that the fall was sentiment driven. Other cryptocurrencies like Ether and Litecoin fell 16 percent overnight.
On Friday last week, the SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) announced penalties against two cryptocurrency companies that had not registered its initial coin offerings (ICO) as securities. Airfox and Paragon Coin Inc will have to pay penalties worth $250,000 to compensate its investors and register their tokens as securities. It is not certain if this news triggered the sell-off, however, volatility in the cryptocurrency market continues with Bitcoin having lost over 70 percent in value from its December 2017 high. A Bloomberg report suggests that this could be an attempt by ICOs trying to liquidate their cryptocurrencies before they come under the SEC's radar.
As per the data from Coinmarketcap.com, the crypto business has lost $670 billion in value from its peak in January this year.