LONDON — Cryptocurrencies are falling again on Thursday morning amid continued bearish sentiment in the market.
Bitcoin dropped below $8,000 (R95,000) to a five-week low and the rest of the market is following its lead.
The slump is part of a wider sell-off in the crypto market that began at the start of the month. Investor confidence was last week been shaken by fears of regulation, big sellers liquidating holdings in the market, and rumours of another exchange hack.
The latest blow to already shaky investor sentiment is Google's decision on Wednesday to ban all cryptocurrency advertising on its platforms, which pushed cryptos into the red.
Trey Ditto, the CEO of crypto-specialist PR firm Ditto, said in an email on Wednesday evening: "Today’s decision to ban ads on Google feels like they’re throwing the baby out with the bath water.
"We use Facebook and Google to educate potential investors and users about a range of topics and opportunities. I worry this punishes the good actors in this fast-growing space and will thus hurt the consumers and investors who are looking for information to make smart crypto investment decisions."
Chris Keshian, CEO of Apex Token Fund, took a more optimistic view, saying in a statement: "Banning is simply a 'pause' button as organisations tease out better ways to regulate an asset class that they are in the process of understanding.
"This won’t be the last ban but, in time, we expect to see some of these restrictions lifted, as more meaningful regulations come into force."
Still, the combination of all the negative factors means that the size of entire cryptocurrency market has now declined by over $130 billion (R1.5 trillion) since the start of March, according to market data provider CoinMarketCap.com.