Bitcoin showed further volatility Thursday as reports of a clampdown on the virtual currency by China's central bank sent investors rushing for the doors.
Trading at around $585 at the start of Thursday, its price sank to around $513 by 2 p.m. London time, according to industry website Coindesk, which tracks the price against several major exchanges. This 10 percent-plus drop was attributed to a report by Chinese news site Caixin, which said the People's Bank of China (PBOC) had renewed its crackdown on the currency.
"(The PBoC is) requiring banks and payment companies to close all the accounts opened by the operators of websites that trade in the virtual currency by April 15," it said on Thursday.
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Caixin stated that it had seen the new ruling in a document the central bank's headquarters had recently sent to regional offices. It added that the PBoC had targeted 15 trading websites and the banks that fail to close their accounts would be punished.