Bitcoin

Bitcoin Tanks, Capping Volatile Trading Week

Bitcoin’s value plunged at the end of a volatile cryptocurrency trading week, with the price falling under $11,000 for a brief time, currently off 44 percent from a high set on Sunday (Dec. 17).

According to news from CNBC, which used data from Coinbase, on Sunday, bitcoin’s price jumped to a record high of more than $19,800; on Thursday (Dec. 21) it was trading around $15,500. But the sell-off in bitcoin sped up overnight. As of Friday (Dec. 22), the cryptocurrency was down 30.2 percent and trading around $10,400.

Bitcoin futures were also under pressure in trading on Friday (Dec. 22) with CME’s bitcoin futures, which started trading on Dec. 17, dropping 20 percent in morning action. The Cboe Global Markets bitcoin futures, which launched on Dec. 10, were down 21 percent. Bitcoin Cash, an offshoot of bitcoin, was also down 40 percent in trading.

The decline in the price of bitcoin comes as more naysayers are warning about the risks associated with trading cryptocurrency. This week Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, was quoted in Fortune (and re-cited by CNBC) as saying that “the boom and mania around bitcoin in recent months reminds me a little of the .com boom and mania 20 years ago.” He did not offer predictions on the bitcoin phenomenon in its entirety but said there will be “some winners and losers, and we’ll need to separate the core technologies from some of the current implementations.”

Separately, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England (BoE), said bitcoin has seen “remarkable” action in cryptocurrency value and remains for his bank an “active area of interest.” According to a Bloomberg report, the systems that enable the trading create some value, in Carney’s eyes, when looking at how distributed ledger technology might work on what the newswire termed “a systemic level.”

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