- Bitcoin prices swung between gains and losses on Wednesday, as speculators awaited the next catalyst to influence price direction.

Bitcoin (BTC-eUSD) held in a tight range between $433.08 and $454.47 on Slovenia-based BitStamp. Prices last traded at $443.91 during U.S. morning hours, up 0.56%, or $2.47.

The price of a Bitcoin on Bulgaria-based BTC-e rose 1.03%, or $4.48, to trade at $437.60.

According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which averages prices from the major exchanges, prices of the crypto-currency declined 0.69% to trade at $441.20.

Bitcoin prices fell sharply earlier in the week amid fresh indications China will take additional steps to crack down on transactions made using the virtual currency.

BTC China, the country''s largest bitcoin exchange, halted yuan deposits to accounts at China Merchants Bank on April 28, as lenders break links from Bitcoin exchanges amid rising government regulations.

The People’s Bank of China banned financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions December, saying the digital currency doesn''t have "real meaning" and lacks legal protections.

Bitcoin is digital cash for the internet and it is not backed by a government or central bank to regulate or issue it. It can be used to purchase goods and services from stores and online retailers.

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