Bitcoin’s growth looked unstoppable last month, when it surged from less than $3,000 to nearly $20,000 in just a few months.
But the entire crypto market has faltered since the start of the year, with bitcoin’s closest rivals Ripple and Ethereum also struggling.
The bitcoin (BTC) price tracker below shows the digital currency’s value in real time.
Why is bitcoin going down?
This latest rocky patch for bitcoin is thought to have been triggered by rumours that the Tether cryptocurrency has been artificially raising its value.
Owned by trading company Bitfinex, Tether has been criticised by financial bloggers who claim it has been plucked from thin air to boost the value of bitcoin.
Nicholas Weaver, a professor from UC Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute has warned that a “bloodbath” would ensue if the claims turn out to be true.
Without this scam Bitcoin price would collapse by 80 percent
Nouriel Roubini, a professor at Stern School
Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini, a professor at Stern School, said the revelations could see bitcoin plummet by as much as 80 percent.
He tweeted: “Indeed Tether/USDT used to manipulate Bitcoin prices. Without this scam Bitcoin price would collapse by 80 percent.
It was revealed last week that hackers have been exploiting YouTube’s advertising service by targeting users to mine cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.
A spokesman for Google said: “We enforce our policies through a multi-layered detection system across our platforms which we update as new threats emerge.