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Analysts at Citi said on Wednesday bitcoin could halve again in value amid the current rout, adding that a possible fall to a range between $5,605 and $5,673 "looks very likely to be very speedy".

The volatility of the digital currency markets was on display again Wednesday, as bitcoin briefly fell below $10,000 before rebounding back above $11,000 in the USA afternoon.

Bitcoin fell as low as $9,199.59 on Wednesday morning, but bounced back to $11,218.84 as of Thursday at 5:40 a.m. ET, according to CoinDesk, which tracks prices from cryptocurrency exchanges including Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Bitfinex.

Every one of the top 20 digital currencies suffered double-digit losses on Tuesday.

While many observers say the recent falls show that the bubble has burst, those backing the nascent markets say that regulation is welcomed and wild price swings to be expected.

However, bitcoin pared some of the early losses in the evening session, now trading close to $11,000, lower only 2% from its previous day price.

The shift toward tighter regulation sparked strong reaction from many South Koreans, thousands of whom signed a petition on the website of the presidential Blue House to stop a ban on cryptocurrency trading.

The last few months of 2017 seemed too good to be true for many digital currencies.

Major Korean banks earned 2.2 billion won (US$2 million) past year in commissions for providing virtual accounts to cryptocurrency investors, government data showed on January 18.

South Korea is considering shutting down all local virtual currency exchanges, the country's finance regulator chief said Thursday. The mark had actually been hit by some exchanges but since that period there have been major sell offs after the currency started going down. "Looks like they're exhausted of overpaying for cryptos and waiting for the market to even out", Mati Greenspan, an analyst at the trading platform eToro, noted earlier.

Separately, a senior Chinese central banker said authorities should ban centralised trading of virtual currencies as well as individuals and businesses that provide related services. The huge rally in 2017 also came with some sharp selloffs, although those wound up being temporary.