Tue. Nov 30th, 2021

The wild ride in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies accelerated over the weekend, with bitcoin prices falling back near $30,000 and flirting with their lowest levels since late January.

After a punishing selloff last week, bitcoin dropped to $32,919.75 on Sunday afternoon, according to CoinDesk, down 14% over the previous 24 hours and more than 50% from its mid-April high. Bitcoin’s total market value has fallen below $630 billion, down from more than $1 trillion earlier this spring.

“Bitcoin’s intense rollercoaster ride from $18,000 to $64,000 and back to $30,000 over the past six months is a reminder that digital assets are volatile investments,” Julian Emanuel, managing director and chief equity and derivatives strategist at BTIG, said in a Sunday research note.

Mr. Emanuel said his year-end price target on bitcoin is $50,000, and he called any near-term volatility tied to regulatory concerns a buying opportunity.

After starting the year under $30,000, Bitcoin prices peaked at $64,829.14 on April 14—the same day Coinbase Global Inc., the largest U.S. bitcoin exchange, went public in a highly anticipated direct listing.

Momentum has sputtered since then, with investors largely blaming Tesla Inc.’s decision to suspend accepting bitcoin as payment for its vehicles and comments from Chinese authorities about the need for tighter regulations.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk also spurred worries earlier this month that his company would sell its bitcoin holdings, adding further pressure. He later dismissed that speculation and has tweeted his support for cryptocurrencies in recent days.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government said in a brief Friday statement that it intended to a “crack down on bitcoin mining and trading behavior” as part of broader efforts to guard against financial risk.

The weekend selloff extended to other digital currencies as well. Ether has dropped 17% over the past 24 hours, while dogecoin, the joke currency, has fallen 14%.

Write to Lauren Pollock at [email protected]

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