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>> Bitcoin, like other cryptocurrencies, has seen a dramatic drop in its price this year, more than halving in value. That's a far cry from 2017 where there was an explosive rise in their prices and corresponding rise in interest from investors across the world. I'm Tommy Wilkes, senior correspondent with Reuters in London, where I cover cryptocurrencies, along with other investment.
So last year there was all this hope that Bitcoin, among its backers, would take over the world and would demolish existing fiat currencies. It hasn't really happened. Its usage for commerce, for trade is very limited. Volumes on exchanges where people can buy and sell cryptocurrencies have more than halved from December to April.
That's mostly because ordinary retail investors aren't trading it as much. Many of them have sold out, because they don't see the price rises. Despite the big drop since December, so far this month, Bitcoin's price is up more than 25%, other cryptocurrencies, even more. So, clearly, some people are making money.
But for the vast majority that bought in late last year, they are down on their initial investment. So different countries have taken different responses to cryptocurrencies. Most have said they think that the asset class is incredibly risky, that it's prone to fraud and to scams. And some countries like China, India as well, have introduced outright bans on the trading of cryptocurrencies and the use of cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin, obviously, is one of the earlier cryptocurrencies. Its led the growth of the industry. But many of the newer ones, they say, are improvements on Bitcoin. They're faster, they're more efficient, they're better at doing what Bitcoin's supposed to do. Meanwhile, critics say nope, they're all one giant Ponzi scheme that's now unraveling.
They're no better than Bitcoin, they're usage is still very limited, and the uptake of these things is tiny.