Bitcoin falls more than 10 percent on fears of US crackdown

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The price of bitcoin plunged more than 10 percent on Thursday amid fears of a US regulatory crackdown on the controversial cryptocurrency.

Janet Yellen, President Biden’s pick to head the Treasury, gave investors the jitters when she voiced worries this week that the anonymous currency could be used by criminals — provoking fears of a regulatory clampdown under the Biden administration.

“I think many are used, at least in a transactions sense, mainly for illicit financing, and I think we really need to examine ways in which we can curtail their use and make sure that money laundering does not occur through these channels,” Yellen said Tuesday.

Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $41,986 per coin on Jan. 8, but has since lost more than a quarter of its value, recently trading below the $32,000 mark on Thursday, according to Coindesk. While some investors have taken out profits, skeptics have raised concerns that it’s a bubble ready to pop.

Earlier this month, Britain’s financial watchdog warned crypto traders that they “should be prepared to lose all their money” because there are so many risks involved.

Institutional investors have helped drive up Bitcoin’s price in recent weeks amid growing perceptions that it offers protection against inflation and could even become an alternative to gold.

BlackRock on Wednesday authorized two of its funds to invest in bitcoin futures, bringing the token to the world’s largest asset manager.

It said in an SEC filing that could use bitcoin derivatives for its funds BlackRock Strategic Income Opportunities and BlackRock Global Allocation Fund.

One bitcoin was trading at $31,113 Thursday morning at 11 a.m.

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