As financial markets became warier, the value of leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin plummeted 20 percent on Monday, wiping out some of the enormous gains racked up in recent weeks.
According to the Bloomberg financial news service, the virtual currency fell to $31,061.83, a pace last seen in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic ignited fear across the globe.
The decline in crypto value comes in the midst of a wider stock retreat on Monday, and a U.S. dollar revival.
While the current price drop in Bitcoin is drastic in percentage terms, it is far short of the wipeout that occurred at the start of the pandemic last spring. The digital currency dropped almost 60 percent to a low of about $3,800 in March.
The price drop this week is also just the latest in the long history of Bitcoin crashes, which have characterized the currency since it was introduced in 2009.
Other notable losses include a decline from $29 to $2 in 2011, and the bursting of the 2017 bubble, which after reaching a then-record high of nearly $20,000, saw Bitcoin bottom out at $3000.
The current retreat in prices does not seem to be related to a single case, but rather seems to be a mixture of profit-taking and basic financial gravity.
Bitcoin broke $20,000 in December for the first time and has since been on a dizzying streak that last week saw it eclipse $40,000.