Bitcoin retreated Monday back below $40,000 after climbing over the weekend to the highest levels since May.
The largest cryptocurrency fell as much as 4.9% and was trading at $39,790 as of 11:25 a.m. in Hong Kong. Other virtual coins including second-ranked Ether also fell. Analysts suggested profit-taking lay behind the declines.
This is “just a normal pullback following bullish action,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia Pacific with crypto exchange Luno in Singapore.
The declines put Bitcoin back in the top end of a $30,000 to $40,000 trading range that’s been in place since a cryptocurrency rout in May. The token has been helped in recent weeks by supportive comments from billionaire Elon Musk and Ark Investment Management LLC’s Cathie Wood, as well as speculation over Amazon.com Inc.’s possible involvement in the cryptocurrency sector.
At the same time, scrutiny of the industry is intensifying. That includes a push by U.S. legislators for stricter rules on cryptocurrency investors to collect more taxes to fund a portion of a planned $550 billion investment into transportation and power systems.
Crypto traders are also awaiting a software upgrade expected this week to the Ethereum network. It could boost Ether’s price by trimming the pace at which the token’s supply grows.
(Updates with comment from analyst in the third paragraph.)
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