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Editor's take: If there’s one thing you need to know about cryptocurrency, it’s that it is extremely volatile. It's a lot like riding a roller coaster, really, with plenty of peaks and valleys along the way for the thrill seekers willing to take the ride.
Case in point, Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency based on market cap, has lost more than half of its value since hitting a record high of more than $63,000 just over two months ago.
Bitcoin has had a tremendous run in 2021, but all of the gains have been wiped off the table. As of this writing, Bitcoin is trading at $29,827.24, just a few hundred bucks higher than the $29,333.61 it was at on January 1, 2021.
The latest dip is directly related to China. Earlier this week, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) told the nation’s banks and payment institutions to stop facilitating cryptocurrency transactions.
According to the PBC, “the speculative trading of virtual currencies will disrupt the normal functioning of the economy and the financial market. It will give rise to risks of illegal and criminal activities such as illegal cross-border transfer of assets and money laundering, and seriously infringe the property safety of the public.”
Other countries aren’t as concerned with Bitcoin. Earlier this month, for example, the Central American nation of El Salvador adopted the Bitcoin Law, making the crypto legal tender alongside the US dollar. It hasn't been all smooth sailing, however, as the World Bank recently decided not to help El Salvador with its adoption due to environmental and transparency concerns.