CryptoWatch: Bloodbath for cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin sheds 10%, now down 40% year-to-date

The price of the No. 1 digital currency extended a brutal slide on Wednesday, adding to its recent losses amid another wave of negative news.

A single bitcoin BTCUSD, -12.04% last traded at $8,248.16 late-Wednesday in New York, down 9.9%, after hitting an intraday low of $8,219.73, a 40% decline from the beginning of the year.

Google updates financial services

After beginning the day on the back foot the losses for bitcoin intensified after Google GOOG, +0.99%  announced it was updating its financial-services policy, saying ads will no longer be allowed to service “cryptocurrencies and related content.”

Google said the related content includes those for initial coin offerings, or ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets. While the news isn’t ideal for crypto investors.

That news comes as the crypto industry faced another hearing on Capitol Hill in front of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Capital Markets.

Securities and Investment held a hearing called “Examining Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets.”

“All eyes are on today’s ICO Senate hearing,” said Jeff Koyen, president of 360 Blockchain USA.

Read: Winklevoss twins propose self-regulatory body for cryptocurrency industry

Senate hearing

The digital-asset market got another working over from Washington when the Financial Services Committee had a hearing on cryptocurrencies and ICO markets. The committee met with some industry experts to ask and explore the regulatory issues the industry faces.

The hearing began with Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman calling all cryptocurrencies “a crock” and saying they are helping criminals and terrorists shift money around the world. The tensions grew when Michigan Republican Bill Huizenga, chairman of the subcommittee, stated his intention to push for greater oversight.

“This panel, this Congress is not going to sit by idly with a lack of protection for investors,” he said.

Allianz

Adding to the woes of digital assets was a report from European financial services company, Allianz. In a report titled “Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble, the Benefits of Blockchain” the company echoed recent sentiments about the bubble nature of the move and how comparatively it suggests trouble ahead.

See: Bitcoin’s intrinsic value ‘must be zero’: Allianz

“The hyperbolic price movements of bitcoin since its early 2009 inception have been very bubblelike in nature,” wrote Stefan Hofrichter, head of global economics and strategy.

”This brings us to a key question: what is the fair value of a bitcoin? In our view, its intrinsic value must be zero.”

Alternative coins

Other cryptocurrencies have tracked bitcoin lower. Ether was down 10.1% at $621.23, Bitcoin Cash was down 9.7% at $965.14, Litecoin is off 6.8% at $163.95, and Ripple was last traded at $0.72, down 9.3%, according to news and research firm CoinDesk.

Futures markets finished well in the red. The Cboe’s March contract XBTH8, -8.43% which expired Wednesday, closed down 9.2% at $8,236, while the now most-active April contract XBTJ8, -8.99% finished off by 9.3% at $8,270. The CME Group Inc.’s March contract BTCH8, -8.49% closed the day down 8.8% at $8,275.

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