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Bitcoin slips below $14,000, down 30% from record peak of $19,666

Bitcoin's success brought cryptocurrencies to the forefront and has also boosted the profile of its rivals, which offer alternatives to bitcoin.

Reuters  |  TOKYO 


Cryptocurrency bitcoin tumbled below $14,briefly on the exchange on Friday, down roughly 30 percent from its record top near $20,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,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, at ASR Wealth Advisers in

Bitcoin's success brought to the forefront and has also boosted the profile of its rivals, which offer alternatives to bitcoin.

"A lot of the capital is flowing from bitcoin into alternative coins.

You've seen companies like and Ripple, which are over 400 percent in the last week," Chanel at ASR Wealth Advisers said.

and are among an array of that both emulate and compete with bitcoin.

Stephen Innes, of trading in for in Singapore, said that there have also been moves out of bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash, a clone of the original cryptocurrency. does not handle trading in bitcoin.

"Most of it is getting burned badly," Innes said on bitcoin's recent retreat.

Bitcoin is known to go through wild swings. In November, it tumbled almost 30 percent in four days from $7,888 to $5,555. In September, it fell 40 percent from $4,979 to $2,972.

"Trading in bitcoin is akin to gambling, so its movements don't follow logical patterns," said Takashi Hiroki, at in

"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 move to list bitcoin futures has given the digital currency some perceived legitimacy, some policymakers remain skeptical.

South Korea's said on Tuesday it does not consider bitcoin and other to be currencies of any kind.

Japanese said on Tuesday that bitcoin had not been proven as a credible currency.

First Published: Fri, December 22 2017. 12:02 IST