ReutersDec 22, 2017 13:55:51 IST
Cryptocurrency bitcoin tumbled below $14,000 briefly on the Bitstamp exchange BTC=BTSP on Friday, down roughly 30 percent from its record top near $20,000 set at the start of the week.
It was last down 7 percent at $14,499 but fell as much as 14.7 percent earlier in the Asian day. The cryptocurrency, which was at about $1,000 at the year’s start, had surged to a record high of $19,666 on Sunday in the lead up to exchange giant CME Group’s launch of its bitcoin futures. It has since lost about a third of its value.
“Keep in mind that bitcoin has gone up a lot this year, so a correction is always likely,” said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers in Sydney. Bitcoin’s success brought cryptocurrencies to the forefront and has also boosted the profile of its rivals, which offer alternatives to bitcoin.
“Trading in bitcoin is akin to gambling, so its movements don’t follow logical patterns,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities in Tokyo. “Unlike equities and bonds, it is not possible to calculate expected returns on bitcoin, so buying it becomes a gamble rather than an investment.” While CME and its rival Cboe Global Markets move to list bitcoin futures has given the digital currency some perceived legitimacy, some policymakers remain skeptical.
South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service said on Tuesday it does not consider bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be currencies of any kind. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday that bitcoin had not been proven as a credible currency.
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