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Bitcoin slides more than 5% after topping $40,000 for first time

FILE PHOTO: A representation of virtual currency bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph in this illustration taken November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Bitcoin fell more than 5% on Friday, a day after topping $40,000 for the first time.

The world’s most popular digital currency slid to as low as $36,618.36 on Bitstamp exchange, after reaching an all-time high of $40,402.46 in the previous session.

Rival cryptocurrency ethereum sank more than 10% to as low as $1,064.89.

Bitcoin has rallied more than 700% since a low in March. It topped $30,000 for the first time on Jan. 2, after surpassing $20,000 on Dec. 16.

Market participants had warned of a correction after the $40,000 milestone was reached.

Increased demand from institutional, corporate, and more recently retail investors has powered bitcoin’s surge, attracted by the prospect of quick gains in a world of ultra-low yields and negative interest rates.

JPMorgan strategists wrote on Jan. 5 that the digital currency has emerged as a rival to gold and could trade as high as $146,000 if it becomes established as a safe-haven asset.

Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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