Bitcoin Crashes After China Restrictions, But Slide Slows Above $700

Bitcoin Crashes After China Restrictions, But Slide Slows Above $700In a rash of panic selling, bitcoin fell below $600 earlier Saturday before rebounding above $700 by mid-morning on Mt. Gox, BTC-e and other exchanges, with some speculators taking advantage of the swing to buy the volatile cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is now about 30 percent below its intraday high Friday. It had registered a high of $1,052 and a low of $576 over the previous 24 hours by 10:30 a.m. EST Saturday on Mt. Gox.
The selling was prompted by several announcements Friday out of China in an apparent rejection of bitcoin by that nation.
Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, stopped accepting bitcoins after the nation’s central bank barred financial institutions from handling transactions. The central bank announcement followed by Baidu’s move triggered waves of selling by bitcoiners.  China, however, did not prohibit its citizens from trading the virtual currency at their own risk.
“Baidu’s website-acceleration platform decided to suspend Bitcoin payment acceptance from Friday as recent large fluctuations in Bitcoin’s value makes it unable to safeguard users’ interests,” the company said in a statement on its website Saturday.
A Baidu website-hosting venture had started accepting the digital money on Oct. 14 as bitcoins zoomed in popularity in China. China’s involvement helped fuel a worldwide rally, with prices shooting up from about $150 to above $1,000 in a matter of weeks.

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