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Bitcoin plunges below $6,000 to lowest level in more than a year

Bitcoin is on the ropes again.

Its price plummeted more than 10% on Wednesday, hitting its lowest level in more than a year. It's now trading below $6,000, far from the heights it reached during its meteoric rise at the end of 2017. After nearly touching $20,000 in December 2017, bitcoin's value nosedived in volatile trading over the months that followed. But it has enjoyed a period of relative stability since early September, hovering between $6,000 and $7,000. Wednesday's drop is a sharp reminder that cryptocurrencies are still an extremely volatile investment. While some people have managed to get rich by trading digital currencies, most investors are all too familiar with their rapid, unpredictable price swings. The volatility comes from sudden changes in the perceived value of cryptocurrencies. Like stock prices, cryptocurrencies are affected by supply and demand — but hype also plays a major role in murky, loosely regulated markets where some investors have huge holdings.Triggers such as alarming news reports and rumors of stricter regulation of the industry can lead to big moves in crypto markets.Bitcoin's plunge on Wednesday was driven in part by expectations that another major cryptocurrency, bitcoin cash, will split into two on Thursday, according to Marshall Hayner, founder of Metal Pay, a cryptocurrency payments service.


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