A man passes in front of a bitcoin ATM in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Ints Kalnins | Reuters
Bitcoin fell sharply on Monday, following President Donald Trump's criticism of cryptocurrencies.
The most valuable virtual currency in the world fell approximately 10% to $ 10,175, according to CoinDesk data. It fell briefly below $ 10,000, dropping as low as $ 9,872.
The reason for the downward movement was not clear immediately. But it comes after President Trump said last week that he "was not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on air."
"Unregulated cryptographic assets can facilitate illegal behavior, including drug trafficking and other illegal activities," Trump added.
Trump also criticized Facebook's plans to create a cryptocurrency, called Libra, which will be linked to a basket of currencies and assets backed by the government to maintain a stable value. Facebook must request a banking license if it wants to become a bank, Trump said.
Some in the cryptographic space shrugged their shoulders at Trump's comments. Brian Armstrong, CEO of the Coinbase digital coin exchange, said it was an "achievement", putting crypto in the spotlight, while Tom Lee, of Fundstrat Global Advisors, called it "positive because cryptocurrency and bitcoin are really on the main stage. "
However, bitcoin continues to rise more than 160% since the beginning of the year, despite the recent decline. Analysts had attributed the rise of digital currency largely to the news of big companies like Facebook getting involved in space.
In other parts of the market, ether and XRP, the second and third largest cryptocurrencies in the world, respectively, were also in negative territory. Ether fell almost 17% to $ 221, while the XRP fell 5% to around 31 cents.
In other cryptographic news, Chinese police confiscated nearly 4,000 computers belonging to bitcoin miners accused of stealing electricity worth nearly $ 3 million last week. Bitcoin mining is known to be a high-energy operation, according to a recent study that says it consumes as much energy as Switzerland.