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Bitcoin (BTC) Slump Continues on US Justice Department Probe Talk

Bitcoin (BTC) Slump Continues on US Justice Department Probe Talk

2018-05-24 14:43:00
Nick Cawley, Analyst
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Bitcoin Price and Talking Points

- A report that the US Justice Department has opened an investigation into cryptocurrency price manipulation is weighing heavily on Bitcoin.

- Fresh 2018 lows are on the cards if the current trading range breaks.

A report by Bloomberg that the US Justice Department is investigating illegal practices in the cryptocurrency market is weighing on an already weak crypto-complex. The story, citing four people familiar with the matter, states that officials are looking at potential price manipulation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies along with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

This report comes hot on the heels of a statement by the chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) applauding “fellow regulators in the United States and Canada who are coordinating and participating in efforts to police fraud in the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) markets”. Chairman Jay Clayton added that “The enforcement actions being announced by NASAA should be a strong warning to would-be fraudsters in this space that many sets of eyes are watching, and that regulators are coordinating on an international level to take strong actions to deter and stop fraud”.

A combination of increased regulatory oversight and a weak technical backdrop has forced cryptocurrency prices sharply lower across the board in the past couple of days, taking out noted levels of support. Market heavyweight Bitcoin (BTC) currently trades around $7,400 and is nearing the bottom of its recent trading range at $6,438. Below this lies the 2018 low – made on February 6 - of $5932, a level last seen in mid-November 2017.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Chart Daily Time Frame (September 17, 2017 – May 24, 2018)

Bitcoin (BTC) Slump Continues on US Justice Department Probe Talk

We discussed the weak technical set-up of the cryptocurrency market at our Weekly Cryptocurrency Webinar yesterday.

And where Bitcoin leads, other cryptocurrencies follow with Ether (ETH) falling to a one-month low of $570, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) dropping below $1,000 - also a one-month low - while Ripple (XRP) recently touched a six-week low of $0.575.

IG Client Sentiment continues to show that retail traders are still heavily long of cryptocurrencies, a bearish contrarian indicator, although daily and weekly positional changes can change market sentiment.

What’s your opinion on Bitcoin – bullish or bearish? Share your thoughts and ideas with us using the comments section at the end of the article or you can contact me on Twitter @nickcawley1 or via email at nicholas.cawley@ig.com.

--- Written by Nick Cawley, Analyst.

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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