A dramatic rally in digital currency bitcoin came to a spectacular end on Thursday with a plunge of up to 20 percent as China's yuan rose sharply - further evidence of an intriguing inverse relationship between the pair.
Bitcoin had gained more than 40 percent in two weeks to hit a three-year high of $1,139.89 on Wednesday, just shy of its all-time record of $1,163 on the Europe-based Bitstamp exchange BTC=BTSP. But it dived as low as $885.41 on Thursday as the yuan jumped by over 1 percent in offshore trading and headed for its strongest two-day performance on record. CNH=D3 [CNY/]
Chinese exchanges have reported high volumes of trading of the web-based "cryptocurrency" over the past year, during which time the yuan has shed almost 7 percent, its worst annual performance since 1994, while bitcoin has surged 125 percent, outperforming all other currencies for a second year in a row.
Bitcoin can used for moving money across the globe quickly and anonymously, and operates outside the control of any central authority. That makes it attractive to those wanting to get around capital controls, such as in China, and also to investors who are worried about a devaluation in their currency.
"Given that the yuan's weakness over recent months seemed to correlate with bitcoin's strength more than any other currency, it's no surprise that bitcoin traders have reacted the way they have to the yuan's sudden strength today," said Paul Gordon, co-founder of London-based Quantave, a firm seeking to make it easier for investors to access digital currency exchanges.
Exchanges in China say they account for more than 90 percent of global bitcoin trading, which would help explain why a shift in Chinese demand would sharply affect the price.
But many bitcoin experts say Chinese exchanges overstate their volumes in the digital currency, and attribute sharp moves to speculation by, for example, U.S.-based hedge funds.
Some said bitcoin's fall was a natural reaction to the speed of its previous rise. It is still up more than 50 percent on three months ago, when it was trading at around $600,
"If something goes up very rapidly...people make a lot of money, and at some point they’re going to want to sell, in order to realize their gains," said Marco Streng, CEO of bitcoin mining and trading firm Genesis Mining.
By 1645 GMT (11:45 a.m. ET), bitcoin had recovered some of its earlier losses to trade down almost 15 percent on the day at around $950, still leaving it on course for its worst performance in a year.
On some digital currency exchanges - of which there are dozens - bitcoin did reach record highs late on Wednesday.
"Once we broke through the nominal all-time high, liquidity dried up - no shorts, no sellers, which means a volatile little bubble formed quickly," said Peter Smith, CEO of London-based Blockchain, the biggest bitcoin wallet-provider globally.
"We are seeing the effects of that now as it breaks. It's still fairly thin trading volume though, so who really knows where it goes next."
He goes on to say the releases will start with "Sounds From The other Side" and that he will be working with talented vocalist Wande Coal on a mixtape.
The Starboy went through 2016 without a body of work and still emerged Artiste of the Year at various award shows - MAMA 2016, Headies 2016, Soundcity MVPs 2016 and more.
His late 2016 single 'Daddy yo' featuring Efya is currently on the lips of many, with millions of his fans feeling the vibe.
Queen Elizabeth narrowly escaped being shot by one of her guardsmen after she was seen wandering the garden of what is believed to be Buckingham Palace at 3 a.m.
The queen who is known to walk around the palace whenever she can't sleep was taking one of such walks, dressed in a winter coat, when the guard came across the Queen and taking precaution, asked, “Who’s that?” It was only then that he realised it was the monarch.
He was reported to have exclaimed “Bloody hell, Your Majesty. I nearly shot you” to which the Queen replied, “That’s quite all right. Next time I’ll ring through beforehand so you don’t have to shoot me.”
In 2013, Prince Andrew had the same encounter in the same garden when he was confronted by a policeman who mistook him for an intruder in broad daylight.
The vigilance of the security guards is quite understandable considering how often intruders have scaled the fence and gotten into the palace in the past.
In August 2016, a 22-year-old man was arrested after he climbed over a security fence just after 4 a.m. and was spotted by officers monitoring the CCTV. In May 2016 Denis Hennessy, 41, climbed over the fence and roamed freely in the palace grounds.
When he was found by officers he repeatedly asked them “Is Ma’am in?”
In 2013 a man was found after 10 p.m. in one of the State Rooms after he scaled the fence.