Investing.com - Prices of web-based digital currency Bitcoin collapsed below the $800-level on Wednesday, after China's central bank said it launched spot investigations on major bitcoin exchanges.
The investigation of bitcoin exchanges, including BTC China, Huobi and OKCoin, was to look into possible market manipulation, money laundering, unauthorized financing and other issues, according to the statements posted on the People's Bank of China's website.
Bitcoin fell by around 16% to as low as $775.71 on the New York-based itBit exchange at one point, before recovering to $790.00 by 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT), down about 13% on the day from levels around $910.
Other big exchanges such as Bitfinex, Kraken and BitStamp also showed the cryptocurrency falling below $800 early Thursday.
According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which averages prices from the major exchanges, prices of the crypto-currency dropped 13.2%, to $785.79.
Elsewhere, yuan-denominated Bitcoin prices tumbled almost 16% to ¥5,378.60 (approximately $776).
Prices on U.S.-based exchanges are down about $375, or 33%, over the past week, as China took steps to crack down on the virtual currency.
Bitcoin soared nearly 125% in 2016 amid heavy buying from China, as investors look to shield themselves from currency depreciations and capital controls.
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