Bitcoin tumbles below $30,000, extending its plunge to start 2021

PUBLISHED: Fri, 22 Jan 2021 06:21:25 GMT
Ari Levy
CNBC
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Key Points
  • Bitcoin plunged 15% on Thursday, dropping below $30,000.
  • The digital currency had been on a tear up until two weeks ago, climbing over $40,000 on Jan. 7.
  • It’s now 30% off its record high.

Bitcoin tumbled below $30,000 on Thursday, as the cryptocurrency continued its 2021 slide after quadrupling in value last year.

Bitcoin has lost nearly 30% of its value from its all time high. Chart: Coinbase

The digital currency dropped 17% to $29,246.77, wiping out about $100 billion from the market, according to data from CoinDesk. It’s now down more than 30% since peaking at $41,940 earlier this month.

The latest plunge, which comes without any clear reason, underscores the volatility of a currency that’s become a popular investment for day traders in recent years even as it still has limited real-world application. Bitcoin rose over 300% in 2020, closing the year right about where it sits currently.

Close up of transparent bitcoin sign standing on a golden digital surface surrounding by wire network.

Ether, the digital currency that’s second to Bitcoin in total value, dropped even more on Thursday, declining 22% to $1053.80. It’s now 27% below its high from earlier this week, according to CoinDesk. Ether rose 471% last year.

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President Joe Biden picked Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and an ex-Goldman Sachs baker, to be the next chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Gensler taught about cryptocurrencies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, starting in 2018.

Watch: Is bitcoin a massive bubble?