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Bitcoin sinks 11% after China exchange reveals plans to close its doors

Bitcoin extended its recent tumble from record peaks after one of China’s biggest bitcoin exchanges announced plans to halt trading at the end of the month.

The cryptocurrency tumbled as much as 11.3 per cent to $3,426.92, according to Reuters data. It has fallen now for seven days in a row in its longest losing streak in a year.

Thursday’s fall came after BTCChina abruptly said it would “immediately stop accepting new account registration[s]” and then halt all trading on September 30. On its website, the exchange quoted bitcoin as down almost 20 per cent against the yuan.

BTCChina ranks among the biggest bitcoin exchanges, according to data compiled by Kacper Cieśla on the website bitcoinity.org. The news adds to concerns that China, a large market for the currency that is mined using computer algorithms, may be looking to crackdown heavily on cryptocurrencies.

The People’s Bank of China earlier this month outlawed initial coin offerings, which are a tool used by start-ups in lieu of traditional funding sources, such as venture capital.

Bitcoin has surged this year to as high as $5,000, marking a five-fold increase since the end of 2016. It has captured the attention of both retail and institutional investors, with a recent survey of money managers suggesting it is the world’s most crowded trade.

There is also an increasingly vocal group of high-profile sceptics of the currency’s legitimate uses. Jamie Dimon, head of banking giant JPMorgan Chase, this week called it a “fraud” while fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach said he’d steer clear.

Read more: To coin a craze: Silicon Valley’s cryptocurrency boom