Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general are weathering a storm of challenges, both in terms of regulation and from losing the support of major organisations.
Lloyds Banking Group has delivered the latest blow to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by banning its customers from purchasing them via credit card.
Within this group are Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and MBNA customers, within which are eight million credit card customers.
The banking group said: “Across Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA, we do not accept credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrencies.”
The move appears to indicate the group’s intentions to shield customers from the massive risks currently associated with investing in and betting on the ubiquitous cryptocurrency.
As reported by the BBC, a Lloyds spokeswoman said in relation to the ban: “We continually review our products and procedures and this is part of that.”
After soaring to nearly $20,000 towards the end of 2017, the currency has collapsed in 2018 and continues to face mounting challenges. Governments around the world are increasingly looking to restrict or ban cryptocurrencies, often with a focus on Bitcoin. China, Russia, Vietnam and South Korea have already taken action of this kind.
Recently UK Prime Minister Theresa May also entered the arena of conversation, expressing an interest in putting enhanced regulation in place. This attitude was echoed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Despite this turn of events, there are still stalwart believers in the future of cryptocurrency, with John McAfee standing out as a staunch advocate. On the other hand, the likes of US billionaire Warren Buffet have stepped forward in predicting a bad ending for Bitcoin.
At the time of writing the current price of Bitcoin stands at $8,030 per unit, having fallen a long way from the heights it had achieved in the latter months of last year. Over the weekend the cryptocurrency market stabilised, but major rulings such as this may continue to drive down cryptocurrency prices.