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Lionel Laurent

Bitcoin's Greater Fools Go Into Hiding

Where will the cryptocurrency's future crop of suckers come from?

A representation of a virtual currency.

A representation of a virtual currency.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Bitcoin's price was supposed to go to the moon. Yet over the past six months, from high to low, the linchpin of the entire cryptocurrency craze has shed 66 percent of its value.

It's an unraveling almost on par with the Nasdaq index during the dot-com bust, or U.S. bank equities in the financial crisis. Thankfully, the wider economy has been spared deep pain — even if the full cost of scams and swindles, which by one measure totaled $670 million in a single quarter, has yet to be calculated.