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Bitcoin resumes selloff over weekend, briefly falls below $33,000

A visual representation of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin on November 20, 2018 in London, England.

Jordan Mansfield | Getty Images

The bitcoin selloff continued Sunday following a roller-coaster week of trading, as authorities in China and the U.S. move to tighten regulation and tax compliance on cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin fell roughly 13% to $32,915.83 by 9:37 a.m. ET, according to Coin Metrics data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency was last trading more than 10% lower at $33,641.07.

The cryptocurrency on Friday afternoon traded at $35,891.20.

Bitcoin’s recent selloff is a major reversal for the cryptocurrency, which appeared to be gaining traction among major Wall Street banks and publicly traded companies. This month, however, bitcoin has been hit by a series of negative headlines from major influencers and regulators.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who helped fuel bullish sentiment when his company bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin, delivered a blow earlier this month when he announced that the automaker had suspended vehicle purchases using the cryptocurrency over environmental concerns.

Musk subsequently sent mixed messages about his position on bitcoin, implying in a tweet that Tesla may have sold its holdings, only to clarify later that it had not done so.

“The asset class continues to be highly volatile, with the potential of significant price movements resulting from a single tweet or public comment,” CIBC analyst Stephanie Price said in a note Thursday.

A JPMorgan report showed large institutional investors were dumping bitcoin in favor of gold. The news raised questions about institutional support for the cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrencies continued to slide as Chinese authorities called for tighter regulation on crypto mining and trading, and the U.S. Treasury announced that it would require stricter crypto compliance with the IRS.

Bitcoin on Wednesday plunged more than 30% at one point to nearly $30,000, its lowest price since late January, according to Coin Metrics. The cryptocurrency peaked in April near $65,000.

“Even with this week’s selloff cryptocurrencies have had an incredible run over the last year,” Price said.

Bitcoin is up 268% in the past year, according to Coinbase. Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, grew more than 840%.

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CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.


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