A wild ride for Bitcoin companies in London as digital coins

Online Blockchain PLC, a UK-listed company founded in 1996 but swapped its business to cryptocurrency in 2017, saw its 200pc share price surge since late December to January 7, though it has since withdrawn more than 50pc .

Mode, the startup of the cryptocurrency app backed by Jonathan Rowland, saw its shares surge 50pc in late December during the first week of January before curing.

In the United States, Bitcoin mining company Riot Blockchain also brought skydiving to a halt. The cryptocurrency company, which uses powerful processors to perform the number crunching calculations to mine digital coins, saw its market cap surge to $ 1.5bn, but lost more than 11pc yesterday.

Peter Wall, chief executive of Argo Blockchain, said crytocurrency buyers need a “strong stomach” when investing.

Argo buys Chinese-made mining “rigs”, graphics processing machines used to perform number crunching calculations needed to make more Bitcoin.

Mr Wall said he believed last year’s printing of state money had left investors looking for “hard to move assets, such as gold, silver and Bitcoin”.

But after the stunning rise of Bitcoin over December and January, the digital currency has begun creeping lower, hitting a minimum of three weeks.

Warning signals over the bubble have been picked up by investors, according to Deutsche Bank. A survey of investors found that 90pc believes that stock markets are in bubble territory, with Bitcoin at the top of their concerns.

The Financial Conduct Authority warned last week that Bitcoin investors should be prepared to lose all their money.

Fears that US President Joe Biden’s administration might seek to regulate cryptocurrencies have also weighed on sentiment, traders say.

During a hearing in the Senate on Tuesday, Janet Yellen, Biden’s choice to head the US Treasury, expressed concerns that cryptocurrencies could be used to fund illegal activities.

“I think that many are used, at least in a transactional sense, mainly for illegal financing, and I think we really need to explore ways in which we can reduce their use and make sure money laundering doesn’t happen through these channels, ”he said. former chairman of the United States Federal Reserve.

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