TOKYO – The price of Bitcoin fell by more than 20 percent over the last 24 hours in major markets in Asia over fears of fresh restrictions in South Korea and China.
Bitcoin was valued at an average price of 1.3 million yen ($12,562) in Japanese exchange houses at 3:20 pm Wednesday, and 13.5 million won ($12,628) in South Korea, according to the CryptoCompare website.
The prices of the cryptocurrency – that has been on a downward trend since the beginning of January – indicates a fall of 22.7 percent in Japan, and 24.14 percent in South Korea over the last 24 hours.
Ethereum, another cryptocurrency, also fell more than 20 percent, whereas Ripple and Bitcoin Cash lost between 10-15 percent of its value.
Analysts attribute the drop to concerns over possible new regulations, including perhaps a ban on its sale in South Korea, where some of the major cryptocurrency markets are located.
On Tuesday, South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon had said the government will take measures to check any irrational speculation in the local cryptocurrency markets.
Moreover, China has also been planning to ban the use of foreign websites and mobile applications that provide access to virtual currencies and restrict Bitcoin mining – computer systems to generate the cryptocurrency – in the country.
Last year, Beijing had already ordered the closure of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.
The current price of Bitcoin is around 40 percent lower than the record high it touched in the middle of December, when its value had crossed $19,000.