The price of bitcoin has dropped after China's Vice Premier Liu He said his government will crack down on the virtual currency's mining and trading activities.
The world's largest and most popular cryptocurrency last traded down more than 6.0 per cent at $US38,293 ($A49,316) after holding the $US40,000 level for most of the Asian and London sessions.
China's Financial Stability and Development Committee, which is chaired by Liu, said on Friday it will resolutely prevent and control financial risks, and singled out bitcoin as the asset it needs to regulate more.
His remarks came days after China banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions and warned investors against speculative crypto trading, according to three industry bodies.
Rival cryptocurrency ether also came under pressure, falling 8.4 per cent to $US2,533.
Australian Associated Press