Bitcoin suffered a second consecutive sharp decline in the early hours of Friday, March 9, dipping below the $9,000 mark for the first time in nearly a month. The currency had previously crashed below $10,000 mark on news of irregularities in trading on some API enabled Binance accounts. As of 1:28 AM EST, bitcoin was trading at $8,566, a slight rebound from its 24-hour low of $8,250.
Further driving the downward momentum of bitcoin earlier in the week was increased regulatory pressure out of Asia and North America. The SEC announced on Wednesday exchanges trading in digital assets deemed as securities would be required to register with the agency, although they noted that not all cryptocurrencies are considered securities, noting that bitcoin would be among the least likely to be considered as such.
Japanese regulators also clamped down this week, ordering two exchanges to halt trading following a hack that saw the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies. The Financial Services Agency ordered the two exchanges, FSHO and Bit Station, to suspend trading for one month. The agency cited insufficient training of employees as well as employee theft among the reasons for the order.
The issue of regulation has been a hot topic in recent months, with some public and private entities recommending or investigating at least partial self-regulation of the industry. Other countries, like South Korea, have taken a tone of normalization rather than regulation. European entities, meanwhile, have tended more toward full financial regulation of cryptocurrencies.