January 17, 2018 / 5:03 PM / a year ago

Crypto stocks tumble as bitcoin selloff continues

FILE PHOTO: A view of Ducatus cafe, the first cashless cafe that accepts cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, on their opening day in Singapore December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/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 (14,499.06 pounds), 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, Marathon Patent, Longfin Corp, Long Blockchain Corp and Social Reality Inc all fell more than 10 percent.

(Graphic for Blockchain stocks fall, click reut.rs/2DeSGZL)

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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