Bitcoin has endured a flash crash to $600 USD in the wake of Russia’s proposal to ban cryptocurrency exchanges within its borders.
Millions were lost and found for a serendipitous few yesterday, as Russia has clarified that it is now planning to ban access to Bitcoin exchange websites within its borders – an announcement that led to a flash crash that saw Bitcoin’s price briefly plummet to $600 USD.
The announcement from Russia saw Sergei Shvetsov – the first deputy government at the Russian Central Bank – comment that the country should not give ‘easy access’ to ‘such dubious investments’ as cryptocurrencies.
Shvetsov offered that “We think that for our citizens, for businesses, the usage of such cryptocurrencies as an investment object carries unreasonably high risks”, and went on to clarify that Russia may block access to online cryptocurrency exchanges.
The flash crash itself has drawn intense speculation in markets, as some cryptocurrency indexes did not observe the drop in price; CoinDesk’s price index is constituted by Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit, and OKCoin, though no other indexes – such as Brave New Coin or Crypto Compare – seemed to indicate a crash.
Bitcoin quickly recovered from the apparent crash – rallying to $4,200 USD at 9:00am GMT and then resumed trading at $4,787 USD at 9:10am GMT.
While Russia’s seemingly hardline stance on cryptocurrency exchanges may mirror that of China’s recent approach, it is possible the country is preparing to launch its own such cryptocurrency in the form of a CryptoRuble.
Bitcoin itself suffered a $200 USD flash crash earlier this year when China proposed a ban on ICOs, and Ethereum’s price fell sharply on Coinbase earlier this year – a crash which the CFTC is now apparently investigating.
Should we receive comment from CoinDesk, we will update this article accordingly.