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Bitcoin extends losses after Fed chief urges halt to Facebook's crypto project

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07/11/2019 | 01:18pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: A Bitcoin logo is seen on a cryptocurrency ATM in Santa Monica

LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin dipped almost 8% on Thursday, extending losses the day after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called for a halt to Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project until concerns ranging from privacy to money-laundering were addressed.

The original cryptocurrency <BTC=BTSP> initially fell 7.7% to $11,164 in early morning trade, following a 3.8% slide on Wednesday after Powell's testimony on monetary policy before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. It was last down 4.5%.

Other major cryptocurrencies including Ethereum <BTC=BTSP> and Ripple's XRP <XRP=BTSP> fell by similar levels.

"This is a direct response to the Powell testimony and comments on Facebook's Libra and the implications that could have for the entire cryptocurrency space," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at FX trading platform OANDA.

"Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability," Powell told the committee, adding that he did not think the project could proceed unless those concerns were addressed.

The proposed cryptocurrency has drawn close scrutiny from policymakers and financial regulators globally. Powell said existing rules do not fit cryptocurrencies.

Other traders said the moves fitted within the pattern of bitcoin's recent volatility, where double-digit intra-day price moves have been common.

The biggest coin climbed nearly 55% in nine days after Facebook unveiled its plans for Libra on June 18, touching an 18-month high of nearly $14,000. The project has boosted hopes that cryptocurrencies could gain wider acceptance.

(This story corrects third paragraph to say Ripple's XRP, not XRP's Ripple)

(Reporting by Tom Wilson; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

By Tom Wilson

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BITCOIN - UNITED STATES DOLLAR -1.89% 10129.69 End-of-day quote.176.54%
FACEBOOK 2.00% 202.32 Delayed Quote.54.34%
RIPPLE - BITCOIN 0.58%End-of-day quote.-67.13%
RIPPLE - ETHEREUM 0.23% 0.0015 End-of-day quote.-43.55%
RIPPLE - UNITED STATES DOLLAR -1.39% 0.3163 End-of-day quote.-10.82%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2019 69 408 M
EBIT 2019 24 569 M
Net income 2019 20 574 M
Finance 2019 49 251 M
Yield 2019 -
P/E ratio 2019 28,3x
P/E ratio 2020 21,8x
EV / Sales2019 7,61x
EV / Sales2020 6,10x
Capitalization 578 B
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Technical analysis trends FACEBOOK
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Number of Analysts 48
Average target price 221,43  $
Last Close Price 202,32  $
Spread / Highest target 23,6%
Spread / Average Target 9,44%
Spread / Lowest Target -40,7%
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NameTitle
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Sheryl Kara Sandberg Chief Operating Officer & Director
David M. Wehner Chief Financial Officer
Michael Todd Schroepfer Chief Technology Officer
Atish Banerjea Chief Information Officer
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FACEBOOK54.34%566 216
TWITTER27.94%28 193
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XING SE47.16%2 207