Hours after surging past $11,000, bitcoin tumbled almost 20 percent from the high, wiping more than $2,000 from its price in five hours. It traded at $9,340 as of 2:52 p.m. in New York.
The heaviest selling came amid reports of service outages and delays on some of the largest online exchanges. The cryptocurrency had rallied 20 percent in just four days, topping $10,000 for the first time earlier this week in a runup that drew increased warnings it was in a bubble. Bitcoin ended September at $4,171.25.
“After doubling in such a short period of time, people are taking profits,” said David Mondrus, chief executive of Trive, a blockchain-based research platform. “Issues in the exchanges add to it without a doubt. When you have a lack of ability to exit, then people dump in order to exit faster.”
While not uncommon, outages at online exchanges have earlier led to selloffs in cryptocurrencies. Coinbase, one of the biggest platforms, earlier tweeted traffic was at an all-time high after bitcoin surged to a record $11,434 at 9:11 a.m. in Bloomberg composite pricing.
The cryptocurrency is extremely volatile and susceptible to major dips -- it’s fallen by at least 25 percent on three separate occasions in 2017 already.