Bitcoin fizzled in Monday trading as the famously volatile cryptocurrency pulled back after a spectacular rally.

Prices sank as much as 17% in the biggest intraday retreat since March, wiping out gains made over the weekend. After a parabolic 2020, the digital currency had started the new year with a bang, surging as high as $34,000 and hitting all-time highs.

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As ever in the world of crypto, it’s hard to pinpoint the proximate cause for the latest bout of volatility. Still, Bitcoin is up more than 300% over the past year, driven by a speculative fever from retail and institutional investors on the belief that cryptocurrencies are emerging as a mainstream asset class and can act as a store of value.

Believers in Bitcoin have pointed to the market’s supply constraints and supposedly rampant money printing by central banks as key drivers of bullish narrative. Others say that cryptocurrencies are a bubble in the making and another sign that crazy risk taking has taken over global markets.

Bitcoin was down 13% to $29,168 as of 10:41 a.m. in London.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.