The cryptocurrency market has lost $640 billion after peaking in January – and the fall is led by the second largest digital coin, ether.
Ether has plunged to a 12-month low of $172.48 from a high of $1,359.48 on January 13.
The collapse started over the weekend when the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) demanded trading of Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One in the US.
The exchange traded funds are still available in Stockholm, where the funds are listed.
The provider, XBTprovider, has issued a statement aimed at settling qualms triggered by the US decision which says the issue is a local matter between brokers and the SEC.
REcoin fraud hearing
A judge’s decision in New York that initial coin offerings fall under securities regulation has not helped the cryptocurrency cause as lawyers have fought for months to stop cryptocurrencies from being considered as securities in the US.
The ruling came during a fraud case pre-hearing involving charges of conspiracy and securities fraud by Maksim Zaslavskiy who claimed his REcoin ICO was backed by property to attract investors.
“No diamonds or real estate, or any coins, tokens, or currency of any imaginable sort, ever existed — despite promises made to investors to the contrary,” Judge Raymond Dearie said in his ruling.
“Simply labelling an investment opportunity as a ‘virtual currency’ or ‘cryptocurrency’ does not transform an investment contract — a security — into a currency.”
The move means tighter – and more expensive – regulation and the removal of anonymity from investors under ‘know your client’ and money laundering laws.
But Dearie’s decision is not final – a jury will have to confirm his finding at Zaslavskiy’s trial.
Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency is also trading down at $6,271.67, the lowest value since November 2017.
The difference is the price was about to spike to a record high in November 2017, whereas now the value seems to have bottomed out on a plateau between $6,900 and $6,200 since February 2018.
Price boards at cryptocurrency tracker CryptoCompare.com resemble a bloodbath with almost every major coin and token losing money.
The exceptions are Coinbene (CONI) up 19.9% since the start of trading today, Bibox (BIX) up 13.89% on the day’s trade, and Exchange Union (XUC) up 12.66% on the day.