The Bitcoin price dove below $9,700 on Thursday following reports that India may take a hard line against cryptocurrency usage to combat its use in “illegitimate” enterprises.
As CCN reported, Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, criticized cryptocurrencies during a speech before the country’s parliament. Jaitley, who was ostensibly presenting the Union Budget, took time to state that the government does not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender and that regulators will take “all measures” to eliminate their use in criminal activities.
The finance minister did not list any concrete measures that the government intended to take to curb this alleged usage of cryptocurrencies in nefarious enterprises, and — importantly — he did not float a Bitcoin ban. However, because India accounts for approximately 10 percent of all Bitcoin transactions — the statement appears to have placed more downward pressure on an already-heavy cryptoasset marketplace.
Bitcoin Price Dips Below $9,700
January proved to be one of Bitcoin’s worse months in recent memory, as a variety of factors converged to erase the tail end of the asset’s remarkable 2017 rally.
Unfortunately, the flagship cryptocurrency does not appear to have shaken off those woes upon entering February, and growing regulatory concerns have reduced the Bitcoin price to a present value of $9,643. This translates into a $161.5 billion market cap and represents a single-day decline of six percent.