Bitcoin miners Riot Blockchain Inc. and Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. were among the sharpest decliners among crypto stocks on Friday after China renewed a crackdown on cryptocurrency.
- Riot Blockchain dropped 6.5%, while Marathon Digital fell 6.2%, Hut 8 Mining Corp. fell 5.3% and Bit Digital Inc. also dropped 5.3%.
- MicroStrategy Inc., often seen as a proxy for bitcoin, dropped 3.3%, while crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc. declined 2.9% and RobinHood Markets Inc., where many users trade crypto, fell 1.4%. The wider S&P 500 index was flat, while the Nasdaq was down 0.5%.
- The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said bitcoin, ether and the stablecoin tether (USDT) do not qualify as legal tender and cannot be used in the currency market.
- Bitcoin fell by nearly $2,000 to $42,800 after the PBOC news hit the wires, erasing Thursday’s 3% gain.
- China renewed its crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and mining in the second quarter amid pilot testing of digital yuan. However, according to China journalist Colin Wu, the latest central bank statement is quite detailed and mentions tether (USDT) as illegal for the first time. Tether, the largest stablecoin per market value, is widely used to fund crypto purchases and as collateral in decentralized finance.
UPDATE (Sept. 24, 15:01 UTC): Added MicroStrategy price movement in second bullet point.