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Bitcoin plunges as countries crack down on cryptocurrency trading

Data: CoinDesk; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Bitcoin prices tumbled sharply Tuesday, falling to the lowest levels since early December — briefly dipping below $10,000 by one measure — after a report that China and South Korea are escalating their crackdown on the cryptocurrency, per Coindesk. Losses spread to several other digital currencies in early morning trading.

Why it matters: Cryptocurrencies have experienced a volatile start to 2018 after rising to new heights last year. The tightening of regulations reveals the cautious approach countries are taking to the growing cryptocurrency craze.