Digital currencies took yet another nosedive on March 7, with Bitcoin falling below $10,000 mark and then regaining only part of its value with a net 4% loss, while Ethereum and Litecoin lost 0.5% and 1.6% respectively. The fall coincided with two major events that influenced cryptomarket.
Cryptocurrency news outlet CoinDesk reported on the evening of March 7 that the Binance cryptoexchange might have been hacked. The suspicions arose as some of its customers began to complain about being unable to withdraw their money from the exchange. Binance notified that a phishing attack on its customers was undertaken, but the exchange platform itself remained unhacked and none of its clients' assets were stolen.
International Business Times reported the next day about a major regulatory crackdown by Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA), which temporarily halted the operations of two cryptocurrency exchanges (FSHO and Bit Station) and imposed stricter rules for five more, urging them to improve business practices.
Japan's FSA was not the only regulator that impacted the cryptocurrencies' value. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a public statement "on potentially unlawful online platforms for trading digital assets" on March 7. SEC believes that many cryptoexchanges offer services for conducting operations with what appears to be very similar to classic "securities," but which are not registered by the commission, thus putting all their investors at risk of losing their assets.
Cryptocurrencies drew the attention of investors back in 2017 when Bitcoin started to rapidly grow in price, gaining more than 1000% over a year. Many financial experts compared its success with those of the financial bubbles, predicting that it will have sudden and devastating fall. At the beginning of 2018, Bitcoin lost almost half its value, but managed to eventually regain part of its lost value.