(Flickr / Bart Everson)
Bitcoin is getting demolished, trading down 15.1% at $768 a coin, a drop of $136 a coin, as of 1:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
The fall comes after China announced it had begun investigating bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai on suspicion of market manipulation, money laundering, unauthorized financing, and other issues, Reuters reports.
Wednesday's selling comes following three days in which the cryptocurrency appeared to be stabilizing, holding in a range of $880 to $920, as traders digested the news that the People's Bank of China warned investors to exercise caution when investing in virtual currencies.
The cryptocurrency has had a wild start to 2017 after booking a 120% gain in 2016, when it was the world's best performing currency for the second year in a row. Bitcoin rallied by more than 20% in the first three-plus trading days of 2017, crossing the $1,000 mark for the first time since November 2013 and coming within $46 of an all-time high.
But worries surrounding a crackdown on trading in China have punished bitcoin over the past four-plus sessions, erasing more than 30% of its value.
Bitcoin is now down more than 17% in 2017.
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