Bitcoin plunged more than $100 in a matter of minutes of Tuesday morning. The cryptocurrency was down about 1.5% at $1260 a coin just after 6 a.m. ET before tumbling below $1160 over the course of 30 minutes. As of 7:12 a.m. ET it’s down 5% near $1,218 a coin.
While no headlines can be directly tied to the plunge, about two hours earlier, a Bloomberg headline cited a People’s Bank of China official who suggested the recent bitcoin regulation isn’t temporary.
The PBOC recently announced it was cracking down on bitcoin trading, and that was followed by China’s largest bitcoin exchanges implementing a flat 0.2% fee per transaction and announcing a blockage of withdrawals.
Tuesday’s sell-off could also be tied to nervousness over the upcoming Securities and Exchange Commission ruling. The SEC is expected to issue a ruling on whether or not it will approve at least one of the three proposed bitcoin-focused exchange-traded funds by a March 11 deadline.
The price of bitcoin has rallied 27% so far in 2017 after gaining 120% in 2016. Bitcoin has been the top performing currency in each of the last two years.