Bitcoin Touches $6,000 Mark as Cryptocurrency Exodus Continues

he price of digital currency bitcoin dropped to the $6,000 mark on Tuesday as heavy losses continued amid a broad based selloff in cryptocurrencies triggered by fears over a regulatory crackdown.

Bitcoin was trading at $6,220.80 by 04:02 AM ET (09:02 AM GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, after falling as low as $6,000 earlier, the weakest level since mid-November.

Bitcoin is down more than 60% from its record high of $19,891 in mid-December.

Cryptocurrency prices have fallen sharply since early January as governments clamped down on trading and major banks implemented a ban on using credit cards to buy digital currencies.

Prices have also been hit by fears over whether last year’s breathtaking rally in digital assets was justified.

Cryptocurrency regulation looked likely to remain in focus on Tuesday as lawmakers in the U.S. Senate prepared to question the heads of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission over how to better regulate the virtual currency market.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, traded down around 25% at $594 on the Bitfinex exchange.

The third largest cryptocurrency Ripple fell around 20% to $0.60.

The steep drop in cryptocurrencies this week has coincided with a rout in global equities.