Bitcoin falls to fresh 2-1/2-month low

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UK bank bans bitcoin purchases via credit card

London

Bitcoin, the world’s best-known cryptocurrency, fell 7% on Monday to a fresh two and a half month low of $7,599 on back of growing worries about a regulatory clampdown and bans on the purchase of the digital coins.
The price of Bitcoin on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange has now fallen by more than half from a peak of almost $20,000 hit in December. Last week it suffered its worst weekly performance since 2013.
Meanwhile, Lloyds Banking Group on Monday joined major US banks in banning purchases of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via credit card amid debt and security concerns. An LBG spokesman said the ban was across its Lloyd Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA branded credit cards.
In a brief statement, he said LBG does “not accept credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrencies”.
Over the past few days, US lenders Bank of American, Citigroup and JPMorgan each introduced the same ban.
There is a concern that customers who bought bitcoin late last year when crytocurrencies in general surged in value have been left with big losses following massive declines in recent weeks.
On Monday, the price of bitcoin tumbled to $7,950, two months after breaking through the $20,000 mark.
It comes as China plans to stamp out all remaining cryptocurrency trading in the country by blocking access to overseas-based websites and removing related applications from app stores.
The international value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have plunged this year amid fears of a crackdown in Asia and concerns that many currencies’ rapid rise in value last year could reflect an bubble.—AFP/Reuters

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