Will China have the skin of Bitcoin ? :

 After the crazy flights late last year, bitcoin tumbles drastically. China's willingness to regulate virtual currencies worries investors.
The harder will be the fall. After generating a huge craze in recent months, crypto-currencies are currently experiencing a brutal return to earth. While he tu the 20,000 dollars (16,300 euros) mid-December, the bitcoin fell back on Tuesday under the symbolic bar of 10,000 dollars (8,150 euros) at the close. A first since December 4, just before the flight of the course. The fault of the speculators who withdraw their marbles in catastrophe, frightened by the inclinations of regulation of China.

1,900% in one year. The volatility of bitcoin is not new. It is even characteristic of its expansion, made since 2009 of ups and downs. But so far, the magnitude of the increases has erased the one-off declines. A situation that reversed at the end of the year, specifically on December 17, the day after a closed session for bitcoin to more than 19,500 dollars (16,000 euros). Apogee of a spectacular year in which digital currency hit a B has seen its value climb ... 1,900%!

A craze launched by a handful of investors and then self-powered, attracting spongers who say to themselves: "the bitcoin never stops climbing, I have to get on the train before he be too late. " But as every time a course flies, bitcoin has found itself at the heart of large-scale financial speculation. "It is not the users of bitcoin who are speculating at the moment, they are funds that have sniffed the good vein," said Jacques Favier, cryptocurrency specialist, at Europe1.fr, in November.

Regular alerts. When the price of bitcoin and other crypto-currencies reached unimaginable records a few months ago, the alarm signals have multiplied. One after the other, the European Securities and Markets Authority (AMF), JPMorgan Chase, the vice-president of the European Commission and influential traders warned of the dangers of virtual currencies, with little or no control.

Drastic fall. Since January 7, the price of bitcoin continues to fall, rising in a week from $ 17,000 unit to 10,000. On Wednesday alone, he lost more than 20% of his value. In the wake of bitcoin, all cryptocurrencies are in a bad patch. On Wednesday, at midday, the ethereum, the ripple and the cash bitcoin lost respectively 23.53%, 27.86% and 21.71% over 24 hours. "Speculative investors leave the ship," said Craig Erlam, an analyst at Oanda. "This is not to say that bitcoin will collapse, but the warning signals of recent weeks have been confirmed," continued the analyst, for whom we must now see how long crypto-currencies will put to regain a foothold.

The first warning shot came from South Korea. In mid-December, the Korean authorities banned financial institutions located in the country to carry out transactions in virtual currency, that is to say to buy, sell or even hold a cryptocurrency. Then, at the beginning of January, the authorities announced to think to prohibit the platforms of exchange of virtual currencies. However, South Korea is a very important place for bitcoin: the country accounts for about 20% of global transactions of this virtual currency, or ten times its weight in the global economy.

China sounds the end of recess. A first blow but the K.O. could come from China. According to the Chinese state-owned Securities Times newspaper, in order to limit the risks to the financial sector, the authorities plan to strengthen the control of cryptocurrencies in the country. In their sights: Chinese websites specializing in cryptocurrency trading, direct to private transactions, and local businesses using offshore platforms.

Last September, Chinese trading platforms have already been closed down and new cryptocurrency (ICO) fundraising has also been banned in the country. But other channels for exchanging cryptocurrencies have spread in China, especially through discussion groups formed on the ubiquitous Chinese social networks (WeChat, QQ) or Russian (Telegram). The authorities are planning in the coming months increased monitoring of these platforms. These last so far allow voluminous exchanges from individual to individual.

The "mining" in the viewfinder. However, analysts believe that China is a paradise for the "mining" of bitcoin. This process of running computers that solve equations to create cryptocurrency is the basis for the expansion of virtual currencies around the world. About 70% of the current bitcoin "mining" is done in China. Hence the panic in the markets at the announcement of the desire of the Chinese authorities to limit this energy-intensive process.

A real bamboo shot that freaks the investors, although the regulation is not yet effective. Already, analysts at the US bank Citi are considering that the current downward movement could lose half again its value to bitcoin, adding that a retreat around $ 5,600 seemed "very likely in the very near future".