In one brutal month, nearly $50 billion was wiped off of bitcoin’s market value

A not-so-happy new year.
A not-so-happy new year.
Image: Reuters/Dado Ruvic
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Bitcoin giveth, and bitcoin taketh away.

Last year, the price of bitcoin rose more than 1,000%, other cryptocurrencies surged even more, and crypto billionaires were minted along the way. This year is off to a very different start. A crash in the price of bitcoin wiped off nearly $50 billion from the cryptocurrency’s market cap in January alone.

The price of bitcoin has halved from its December peak, to less than $10,000. January was the worst one-month loss in the cryptocurrency’s history, with previous declines paling in comparison (in absolute terms). February isn’t looking so great either, with bitcoin falling by around 8% today, at the time of writing.

The cryptocurrency markets is suffering amid a regulatory crackdown across Asia, a hotbed for bitcoin mining and trading, and the general backlash against the volatile, sometimes scam-ridden market: Facebook recently announced it was going to ban ads promoting cryptocurrencies.