Bitcoin and most top cryptocurrencies continued their fall on Sunday amid investor concerns over Chinese regulatory risks. As China has blocked several cryptocurrency-related accounts on Weibo, a popular Twitter-like platform, this weekend, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s report warns that institutional adoption of the crypto industry may be a long process.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency declined to trade around $35,220 by the end of Sunday, down 5.3% in the 24 hours. It was trading at $36,164, down 3.99% on Sunday at 10.04 am UAE time. This drop extends the downtrend for a second day after a provoking tweet from Elon Musk that may imply a potential break apart with the cryptocurrency.
China has tightened scrutiny on bitcoin trading and mining over the weekend, blocking cryptocurrency-related accounts on Weibo, a popular Twitter-like social media in the region. Several popular accounts, which have followers ranging from a thousand to a few hundred thousand, were closed down, displaying a message that the account ‘violates laws and rules’.
As Weibo suspending various cryptocurrency accounts in past years, the news shows the recent harsh trend in Chinese regulatory policy that has already led to a drop in prices for many digital coins.
The micro-blogging service took similar action in 2019 when it suspended the accounts of exchange operator Binance Holdings Ltd. and blockchain platform Tron.
“It’s a Judgment Day for crypto KOL,” said “Woman Dr. bitcoin mini”, a Weibo bitcoin commentator and key opinion leader (KOL). Her main account was also frozen Saturday.
“The government makes it clear that no Chinese version of Elon Musk can exist in the Chinese crypto market,” said professor Winston Ma, NYU law school adjunct and author of the book The Digital War.
He also expects soon China’s supreme court to state a judicial definition that may link crypto mining and trading businesses with China’s criminal law.
“Uncertainty about China crypto regulations are still a headwind,” said Jonathan Cheesman, head of over-the-counter and institutional sales at crypto derivatives exchange FTX, in a note Sunday. “So far it’s been pretty piecemeal, focusing on mining, new issuance, and retail influencers.”
Bitcoin “remains vulnerable to a test of critical support at $29,000 with downside to risk to $20,000,” said Evercore ISI technical strategist Rich Ross in a note on Friday.
Bitcoin surged to almost $65,000 amid the idea that it’ can store a value like a “digital gold,” enthusiasm about swift institutional adoption, and with support from big-name investors like Stan Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones.
The cryptocurrency has declined by more than $25,000 since then and was recently trading around $36,000. However, it’s still up about 25 percent this year.
“We are in a choppy range. The key level for the bulls to hold is $33,400 as it keeps the pattern of higher lows intact,” said Cheesman.
In a Saturday note that raises doubts about institutional adoption, Goldman Sachs showed that not everyone in finance is ready to jump in.
Timothy Moe, the lead of Goldman Sachs strategists, wrote: “We held two CIO roundtable sessions earlier this week, which were attended by 25 CIOs from various long-only and hedge funds. Their most favorite is Growth style but least favorite on Bitcoin.”
The Weibo blockings follow after Chinese media have raised their rush against crypto trading.
Xinhua, official China’s news agency, has published a series of articles that described cryptocurrency frauds. State broadcaster CCTV has named cryptocurrency a lightly regulated asset often used for illegal activity, such as money laundering, gambling, black market trade, arms smuggling, and drug dealing.
The crackdown also emerges as China’s central bank is rapidly testing its own digital currency platform.