Bitcoin plunges again as Baidu and China Telecom drop the currency

Bitcoin prices have settled into the mid-$700 range over the weekend after substantial moves against the currency in China.

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Bitcoin plunges again as Baidu and China Telecom drop the currency

Bitcoin prices have settled into the mid-$700 range over the weekend after substantial moves against the currency in China.

Just before noon GMT on Sunday, Mt. Gox and Bitstamp both showed BTC-USD trades at about $760, only a week after the currency broke the $1,000 threshold.

Bitcoin’s value has suffered a one-two punch from China in the last few days. In the middle of the week, the People’s Bank of China issued a statement on the currency that scared off investors. Then, two huge Chinese companies — Baidu and China Telecom — removed Bitcoin payment options on their websites.

Bitcoin prices first dropped more than $300 in exchange value — from nearly $1,150 to $834 — within a day of the bank’s December 4 statement.

While the bank’s statement did not outright ban Bitcoin, a pervasive tone of disapproval was evident. That was apparently enough to dissuade Baidu and China Telecom, both of which made news earlier when some company divisions began to accept Bitcoin, though it is not immediately clear what exactly prompted the companies to remove Bitcoin payment processing.

The bank’s statement was particularly noteworthy, as it more or less outlawed banks from using Bitcoin, and it classified the digital currency as a virtual good rather than an actual currency.

On Saturday alone, CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index reported a 24-hour drop of about 18% in Bitcoin’s value. CoinDesk’s Daniel Cawrey reports that BTC China, the world’s largest exchange, saw 73,000 Bitcoins move in that 24-hour period.

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