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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Bitcoin starts new year by declining for the first time since 2015

The cryptocurrency fluctuated in early Asian trading on Tuesday after a volatile 2017

For the first time since 2015, cryptocurrency Bitcoin began a new year by declining, extending its slide from a record US$19,511 reached on December 18. Sascha Steinbach /  EPA.
For the first time since 2015, cryptocurrency Bitcoin began a new year by declining, extending its slide from a record US$19,511 reached on December 18. Sascha Steinbach / EPA.

Bitcoin is having a bad year already.

For the first time since 2015, the cryptocurrency began a new year by declining, extending its slide from a record US$19,511 reached on December 18.

The virtual coin traded at $13,624.56 as of 5pm in New York on Monday, down 4.8 per cent from Friday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That is also down from the $14,156 it hit Sunday, according to coinmarketcap.com, which tracks daily prices. The cryptocurrency fluctuated in early Asian trading on Tuesday.

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Bitcoin got off to a much stronger start last year, and then kept that momentum going, helping to create a global frenzy for cryptocurrencies. It rose 3.6 per cent on the first day of 2017 to $998, data from coinmarketcap.com show. It ended the year up more than 1,300 per cent.

That rally drew a growing number of competitors, and last month brought Bitcoin to Wall Street in the form of futures contracts. It reached the December 18 peak hours after CME Group debuted its derivatives agreements, which some traders said would encourage short position-taking.