An already dramatic crash in the crypto markets has become yet more drastic, with bitcoin and other digital currencies losing hundreds of billions of dollars from their value.
Bitcoin has now fallen 16.8 per cent over the last week. Other coins have seen even more dramatic losses: ethereum is now down 25 per cent.
That follows what was already the worst start of the year for bitcoin in history. After hitting a record high of almost $68,000 (£50,000) in November, it is now worth under $35,000.
Bitcoin’s price had already taken a major hit on Thursday night into Friday, when it fell from around $43,000 to around $38,500. But that plunge continued even more on Saturday, taking it to a low of $34,064.
Anyone that bought bitcoin at the start of the year has now seen it lose more than 23 per cent of its value, in just three weeks.
Supporters had hoped in recent days that the $40,000 level would be an important psychological barrier, and that the price could stabilise above that level. Instead, it has dropped way below that, and continued to trade down.
The recent drop also means that the price is in danger of being down over the year. This time in 2021, bitcoin was trading around $33,000 – though just days after that, it would see a price rally that would take it above $50,000 and see it perform strongly through most of the summer.