Bitcoin's inevitable plunge is here

From CNET: Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has soared in value this year, plunged below $11,000 Friday morning, sinking by nearly half from a record high it hit less than a week ago.

Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency marketplaces, said later Friday that trading in Bitcoin may be offline because of high traffic. "We're working on restoring full availability as soon as possible," the exchange said.

The cryptocurrency, which allows anonymous transactions unrestricted by global borders, is popular with tech heads, people suspicious of government and -- more notoriously -- those seeking to launder money. But the eye-popping run-up in Bitcoin's value this year has lured more mainstream interest in cryptocurrencies purely as an investment opportunity. It's lack of government backing and regulation, however, also leads to volatility, like the dramatic swings seen this week.

Bitcoin dropped at one point Friday morning to $10,400, according to charts on exchange Coinbase. In recent Coinbase trading before trades halted, it was valued at about $13,450.

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