Bitcoin tumbled below $30,000 on Thursday, as the cryptocurrency continued its 2021 slide after quadrupling in value last year.
The digital currency dropped 17% to $29,246.77, wiping out about $100 billion from the market, according to data from CoinDesk. It’s now down more than 30% since peaking at $41,940 earlier this month.
The latest plunge, which comes without any clear reason, underscores the volatility of a currency that’s become a popular investment for day traders in recent years even as it still has limited real-world application. Bitcoin rose over 300% in 2020, closing the year right about where it sits currently.
Ether, the digital currency that’s second to Bitcoin in total value, dropped even more on Thursday, declining 22% to $1053.80. It’s now 27% below its high from earlier this week, according to CoinDesk. Ether rose 471% last year.
President Joe Biden picked Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and an ex-Goldman Sachs baker, to be the next chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Gensler taught about cryptocurrencies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, starting in 2018.