Crypto stocks tumble as bitcoin selloff continues

January 17, 2018 11:55 AM EST

FILE PHOTO: A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) - A slew of blockchain- and bitcoin-related stocks sank on Wednesday following a steep fall in the price of the cryptocurrency over the past few days on fears of regulatory clampdowns.

Bitcoin, which skyrocketed nearly 2,000 percent last year and hovered near a peak of $20,000, slipped below $10,000 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange on Wednesday, adding to a 20 percent slump over the last three days.

South Korea, Japan and China have all made noises about a regulatory swoop, and officials in France and the United States have vowed to investigate cryptocurrencies.

Shares of Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ: RIOT), Marathon Patent (NASDAQ: MARA), Longfin Corp (NASDAQ: LFIN), Long Blockchain Corp (NASDAQ: LBCC) and Social Reality Inc (NASDAQ: SRAX) all fell more than 10 percent.

A number of these companies have changed their names and shifted their focus to cash in on the cryptocurrency wave.

Riot Blockchain, formerly a biotech company called Bioptix, shifted focus to become an investor in blockchain technology.

Long Blockchain was called Long Island Iced Tea Corp as recently as last month before it announced a change in its primary business strategy to blockchain technology from beverages.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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