Cryptocurrency markets swung in chaotic trading and related stocks were hit after Chinese regulators signalled a crackdown on the use of digital coins, which have soared in price this year.
Bitcoin tumbled as much as 30 per cent to a low of $30,101, before clawing back its losses to less than 8 per cent.
Other digital coins were also hit by heavy selling, with ethereum, one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies in the past month, losing a quarter of its value before moderating to losses a little over 20 per cent. More than $8.6bn of positions have been liquidated over the past 24 hours, according to data from bybt.com, a cryptocurrency data provider.
The sharp moves came after the People’s Bank of China warned financial institutions about accepting cryptocurrencies as payment or offering related services and products, amplifying investor concerns that regulators could tighten oversight of the freewheeling asset class.