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Bitcoin's value tumbles in half after China forces top exchange to stop trading

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Bitcoin from Shutterstock
Bitcoin from Shutterstock

China's largest Bitcoin exchange, BTC China, has stopped taking orders in Chinese currency because of regulatory pressure from the government, which has ordered businesses to stop accepting the virtual currency.

Bitcoin, which approximates cash on the internet, was driven to an all-time high of more than $1,000, in part because of demand from China. The move by BTC China sent the price of the virtual currency down more than 50 percent.

BTC China will continue taking deposits in other currencies, the company said on the microblogging service Weibo.

As the virtual currency's popularity grows, governments around the world are paying more attention to it. In the US, the Treasury Department has started to pressure Bitcoin businesses to comply with the legal requirements for money transmitters, although many are resisting.