Bitcoin reclaims $40,000 as crypto volatility lingers

INTERNATIONAL – Bitcoin climbed back above $40,000 (R554,084) on Wednesday for the first time this week, as recent volatility in the cryptocurrency market showed few signs of dampening down.

Bitcoin jumped as much as 6.5 percent to $40,904. Smaller coins, which tend to rise and fall with the largest cryptocurrency, also gained, with ether climbing over 7.5 percent to over $2,906.

Still, bitcoin is down 30 percent this month, and has lost over 37 percent from its record high of almost $65,000 hit in April. It has gained over 40 percent this year, however.

Among the drivers of bitcoin’s recent slump have been fears of a crackdown in China on the emerging sector, as well as concerns over the environmental impact of bitcoin production, an energy-intensive process known as mining.

Bitcoin plumbed $30,066 last week, its lowest since January, in highly volatile trading.

China’s northern region of Inner Mongolia escalated a campaign against cryptocurrency mining on Tuesday, publishing draft rules to root out the business, days after Beijing vowed to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading.