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Crypto update: Bitcoin (BTC) and Ripple (XRP) smashed

The horror week for cryptocurrencies went into overdrive overnight with large declines across the board.

The bitcoin (BTC) price has shed over 13% of its value since this time last yesterday and fallen to US$8,812 per coin according to Coin Market Cap. This has reduced the world’s largest cryptocurrency’s market capitalisation to US$150 billion. This is the lowest level the BTC price has traded at since November of last year.

The Ethereum (ETH) price has tumbled 11% over the last 24 hours and is now trading at US$984. This has reduced Ethereum’s market capitalisation to US$98.8 billion. With an 11% decline, Ethereum has actually been one of the better performers in the crypto industry overnight.

The price of the third-largest cryptocurrency, Ripple (XRP), has fallen 17% during the last 24 hours to 93.2 U.S. cents. This has reduced its market capitalisation to US$37.3 billion.

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) price has been one of the worst performers and dropped 18% to US$1,214 during the period. The bitcoin spin-off now has a market capitalisation of just US$20.6 billion.

Cardano (ADA), the world’s fifth-largest crypto, has fallen a massive 19% to 41.2 U.S. cents since this time yesterday. The popular altcoin’s market capitalisation is now US$10.7 billion.

Elsewhere, Stellar Lumens (XLM), NEO (NEO), and Litecoin (LTC) are down at least 18% each over the last 24 hours.

What happened?

There have been a number of factors weighing on the performance of bitcoin and the rest of the crypto industry recently. But one being touted as an explanation for this latest sell-off is news out of India relating to yet another potential crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

According to Bloomberg, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley told lawmakers in New Delhi yesterday that he will: “take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system”.

This, combined with the Japanese crypto heist, Facebook’s ban on ICO advertising, and South Korea’s ban on anonymous trading, appears to have hit trader sentiment hard.

While cryptocurrencies could rebound over the coming days, I would suggest the investors stay well clear of them.

Instead, I'm betting that these hot tech shares provide better returns than bitcoin this year.

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