Bitcoin has had a wild start to 2017. The cryptocurrency rallied by more than 20% in the opening days of 2017 amid huge interest from China, which accounts for nearly 100% of trading. In fact, data from Cryptocompare found, “In the first 24 hours of the new year, over 5 million bitcoins were bought in Chinese yuan, equating to $3.8 billion. In contrast, just 53,000 bitcoins were bought in US dollars.”
The early gains vanished in a matter of days, however, as bitcoin tumbled 35% on concerns that China was going to crack down on trading, with Beijing having announced it had begun investigating bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai on suspicion of market manipulation, money laundering, unauthorized financing, and other issues.