Bitcoin continued to tumble Thursday, trading down 13.6% to $3,362 per dollar at 1:52 p.m. ET, after Chinese media reported that the country’s regulators were moving closer to shutting down exchanges.
Reports from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal on Monday first indicated that China planned to ban trading of bitcoin and other virtual currencies on its exchanges.
Bobby Lee, CEO of the bitcoin exchange BTCChina, tweeted Thursday that the firm would stop all trading on September 30 following China’s ban on initial coin offerings, the cryptocurrency-based fundraising method.
According to Bloomberg, China Business News reported that the city of Shanghai had ordered the closure of bitcoin trading platforms. The website Crypto Coins News further cited a local newsletter that said banning bitcoin exchanges was “certain.”
Bitcoin has come under pressure in recent weeks following negative headlines out of the UK and China.
On Tuesday, the Financial Conduct Authority, a UK watchdog, warned investors about the risk associated with ICOs.
Also, rumors that China may ban cryptocurrency trading altogether have escalated; a Caixin report out Friday suggested that China would shut down its domestic exchanges.
Earlier this week, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said it was a “fraud” that would eventually blow up.
The cryptocurrency has plunged about 25% since its September 1 high. But it’s still up nearly 300% this year.