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The Crypto edition: Why bitcoin could plunge further and an ETF veteran turns to cryptocurrencies

A bitcoin coin.

Rick Bowmer/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Type "bitcoin bubble" into a search engine and you will come up with 15 million hits. No wonder. The trading chart of the electronic currency – backed by nothing, not gold, not a central bank, absolutely nothing – looked like the Eiffel Tower viewed from ground level before Christmas. The rises were steep, though jagged, before going nearly vertical and soaring into the clouds: a truly awesome sight.

At the start of 2017, bitcoin traded at US$1,000. By September, the price had gone to US$4,000, by mid-December almost US$20,000, giving it a market value of US$320-billion, at which point the chart looked like the Eiffel Tower viewed from the top. Down went bitcoin, reaching US$10,000 by late January. It traded under that level on Thursday.

A plunge to US$1,000 or lower is not out of the question. Almost every commodity that has seen such sharp climbs has seen equally sharp falls. Eric Reguly reports on the rise and fall of bitcoin so far.

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The Rundown

ETF veteran goes crypto, predicting multitrillion-dollar market

Matt Hougan is leaving the exchange-traded-fund industry after 15 years and going all-in on cryptocurrencies as he predicts digital assets will transform investments just like ETFs did. Hougan is joining Bitwise Asset Management Inc. as vice president of research and development. He previously served as chief executive officer at educational company Inside ETFs. "When I think about individual applications, like gold which is a $3 trillion market, there's the idea of Bitcoin as millennial gold," Hougan said in an interview. "It's a multitrillion-dollar opportunity, and then when you get into utility tokens, each of those markets can be substantial." Bloomberg News reports.

Ontario regulator probes cryptocurrency use in real estate

Ontario's real estate regulatory body, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), is raising serious concerns about whether brokerages should be allowed to facilitate transactions in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Shane Dingman reports.

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Others

Line gets longer at Robinhood as cryptocurrency trading begins

When you come to a fork in the Crypto, take it! Fundstrat says

U.S. Olympians turn to Bitcoin to fund cost of competing

Bitcoin drops below $10,000 again, hitting lowest in a week

British lawmakers launch inquiry into cryptocurrencies

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Bitcoins for free? Japanese cryptocurrency exchange lands in hot water again

U.S. arrests operator of shuttered bitcoin investment platform


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Compiled by Gillian Livingston

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