Bitcoin slump sees trades suspended on certain exchanges
Bitcoin plunged on Friday, extending a fall that saw the crypto-currency lose almost a third of its value from a record of nearly $20,000 (£15,000).
The crypto-currency's price dipped below $11,000 on Friday, according to the Coindesk exchange website, before recovering to above $13,000.
Amid the swings, three Bitcoin-related exchanges suspended certain trades.
Bitcoin has had a blistering trip over the past 12 months. Its price at the start of the year was about $1,000.
It has skyrocketed since - more than doubling in value since November - drawing interest from major firms as well as private investors.
But since Sunday Bitcoin has been on a losing streak, falling back to where it was at the start of December.
Analysts said investors should be prepared for such rapid changes, which have characterised the asset from its start.
"This is exactly how this asset trades and has done since the beginning," said Nick Colas, co-founder of New York-based DataTrek Research. "It has a lot of volatility and it will for the foreseeable future."
What happened on Friday?
This week's plunge led to a flood of trades that swamped one of Bitcoin's major exchanges, Coinbase, on Friday. A technical slowdown prompted the firm to halt buying and selling twice.
The CME and CBOE exchanges in the US also temporarily suspended trading of certain Bitcoin futures contracts, which allow investors to bet on where they expect the price of Bitcoin to be at certain points in the future.
The exchanges have automatic brakes that apply once a commodity or asset has moved by a certain amount - as happened in this case.
What sparked the slump?
The market remains driven by sentiment, according to Charles Hayter, founder and chief executive of industry website Cryptocompare.
"A manic upward swing led by the herd will be followed by a downturn as the emotional sentiment changes," he said.
Some traders would have been cashing in on the spectacular gains made over the year, he added.