A 31 percent plunge in the morning. A 33 percent surge in the afternoon.
Such was the wild ride Bitcoin took investors on Wednesday, lopping off billions in value before comments from some prominent proponents helped propel it on a torrid rebound.
The extreme price swings in an asset known for its turbulence caused outages on major crypto exchanges and dominated chatter on Wall Street. The tumult elicited a tweet from Elon Musk that implied Tesla Inc. wasn’t among the sellers, while Cathie Wood said her monitors flashed a “capitulation” that put the digital token “on sale.” Justin Sun, a tech entrepreneur who founded the cryptocurrency platform Tron, tweeted that he bought US$152 million in Bitcoin for around US$37 000 a coin.
Down to within a whisker of US$30 000 just after 9 am in New York, the coin pared its loss to 7 percent and periodically topped US$40 000 again in the afternoon. It resumed declines into the next session and was trading around US$35 500 as of 8:57 am in Hong Kong on Thursday.
Ether, the second-biggest coin, sank more than 40 percent Wednesday before cutting that nearly in half, and ended down 26 percent. It was down as much as 15 percent on Thursday.
“The history of these assets has been littered with aggressive rallies and sickening selloffs,” said Stephane Ouellette, chief executive and co-founder of FRNT Financial.
Rarely do they happen in a single session. The volatility dominated Wall Street on a day when stocks and commodities were also under pressure and the Federal Reserve was set to release minutes from its latest meeting. — Bloomberg.