Bitcoin is getting smashed.
The cryptocurrency is down 18% to about $892 per coin as of 8:17 a.m. ET on Thursday. It is the biggest drop in two years.
On its first trading day of the new year, bitcoin crossed above the $1,000 mark for the first time since 2013, but has now tumbled below that level.
From the end of September through Wednesday — just before the plunge — bitcoin gained nearly 100%. It was supported by renewed interest from China, where money rushed out of the country as its currency, the yuan, continued to weaken.
But on Thursday, the yuan witnessed its biggest two-day rise since record keeping began in 2010. This happened amid the government’s efforts to stop outflows from the country, and after overnight borrowing costs in Hong Kong surged to a new record as high as 100%. That squeezed investors who had bet that the currency would fall.
The yuan’s rise is also pressuring the US dollar, which fell against other major currencies.