Bitcoin fell for a fifth day, the longest losing streak in more than a year, after one of China's largest online exchanges said it would stop handling trades by the end of the month amid a government crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

BTC China will immediately stop accepting new account registrations on its BTCChina Exchange, Chief Executive Bobby Lee said Thursday in a tweet. The decision was made after "carefully considering" the Sept. 4 announcement by Chinese regulators that outlawed initial coin offerings, he said.


China accounts for about 23 percent of bitcoin trades and is also home to many of the world's biggest bitcoin miners, who use vast amounts of computing power to confirm transactions in the digital currency.


While Beijing's motivation for the exchange ban is unclear, it comes amid a broad clampdown on financial risk in the run-up to a key Communist Party leadership reshuffle next month. Bitcoin's surge has fueled concerns of a bubble, prompting skeptics from JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Jamie Dimon to billionaire investor Howard Marks to warn of a looming crash.

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