Bitcoin's Value Falls Nearly 50% as China Enacts Bans

BitcoinRemember the giddy highs of $1000 Bitcoin? That’s so two weeks ago. Lately, the virtual currency is in the midst of another of of its famous crashes — or swoons if you prefer — as bad news trickles in from overseas. Here’s a chart, via Bitstamp, that shows the latest price tumble. The currency reached a new record high of around $1,132 on December 5th but has since lost nearly half its value. After falling to lows of around $650 this week (it’s hard to pinpoint an exact price as rates vary significantly between various exchanges), the currency is slowly ticking up again. The Chinese government appears to be the culprit for the currency’s latest misfortunes. Bloomberg reports that central bank officials have banned banks from clearing Bitcoin transactions, and said that all transactions in the currency must cease by Chinese New Years in late January. The announcement appears to make good on a threat from early December. Read the full story at Giga OM.