Photo: Reuters / Dado Ruvic

The world’s largest cryptocurrency continued its roller coaster ride on Wednesday, diving to as low as below US$9,200. That’s less than half of the all-time high of nearly US$20,000 Bitcoin reached in mid-December.

A series of regulatory moves around the globe prompted the slide at the beginning of the year, and headlines from China and Russia this week continue to spook the markets.

Amid Chinese state media reports that authorities are gearing up to rid the country of cryptocurrency trading entirely, following an ineffective crackdown last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin also chimed in on Tuesday.

“In broad terms, legislative regulation will be definitely required in future,” Putin was quoted as warning.

The news follows recent moves by South Korean authorities to more tightly regulate trading of cryptocurrencies.

“Focus has shifted to negative regulation with headlines out of South Korea, China, and even minor headlines from France and the US,” Ari Paul, chief investment officer at cryptocurrency investment firm BlockTower Capital, was reported by CNBC as saying in an email.

“These headlines are having an outsized effect because cryptocurrency as a whole was overbought and sentiment reached exuberant levels, setting the stage for the violent correction that we’re seeing,” he added.