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Bitcoin price continued to extend its decline as it plunged below $42,000 to levels not seen since September. The world's biggest cryptocurrency has lost over $27,000 or 40% since hitting a record high of almost $69,000 in November 2021. The digital token declined as much as 4.9% to $41,008. 

Meanwhile, Ether, the coin linked to ethereum blockchain and the second-largest cryptocurrency, dropped as much as 9% to its lowest level since September 30. Other digital tokens including Binance Coin, Solana, Cardano and XRP are down more than 10% in the past seven days. The global crypto market capitalization slipped over 4% at $2.08 trillion, according to CoinGecko.

Bitcoin gained about 60% last year, outperforming other asset classes. Though, Ether outperformed Bitcoin from the adoption of blockchain technology by financial technology companies, and perhaps more notably the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the art and gaming worlds. Among the biggest cryptocurrencies, Binance Coin posted the best return, adding roughly 1,300% in 2021.

The recent swings in cryptocurrencies come amid a volatile period for financial markets. Spiking inflation is forcing central banks to tighten monetary policy, threatening to reduce the liquidity tailwind that lifted a wide range of assets.

The Bitcoin hash rate, a measure of the network’s computing power, dropped to 176 million terahashes on Thursday from a record of about 208 million on January 1, according to data from Blockchain.com.

(With inputs from agencies)

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