Bitcoin’s losses grow; recoils 30% from 2019 highs

LONDON: Bitcoin skidded as much as 9 per cent on Tuesday, falling below the US$10,000 mark and pushing losses to over 30 per cent since the original cryptocurrency hit an 18-month-high last week.

In volatile trading, bitcoin recovered some of that ground by early afternoon to trade down 6 per cent at US$9,953.

On Wednesday last week, it touched US$13,880, its highest since January 2018, on hopes that Facebook’s unveiling of its Libra cryptocurrency would drive adoption of digital coins.

Traders said there was no immediate news catalyst for the fall, ascribing the moves to largely technical trading. Other major cryptocurrencies including Etherum and Ripple’s XRP also fell 4 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively.

Facebook’s announcement that it planned to launch by the end of June 2020 its own digital coin as part of a push into digital payments and e-commerce signalled a resurgence in interest in digital currencies, traders said.

After a relatively quiet few days, daily volatility in bitcoin has exploded since last week.

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