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Data: Coindesk; Chart: Axios Visuals

If this year's No. 1 NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence had a do-over, maybe he wouldn't have placed his April signing bonus into a cryptocurrency account.

Driving the news: Nearly all of bitcoin's price gains this year have been wiped out, and the cryptocurrency has fallen about 50% from its peak in April. Ethereum is also down more than 50% from its April high.

Why it matters: The Chinese government's intervention in the market is impacting investor assets around the world.

What happened: China's central bank this week cracked down on crypto trading and mining within the country.

  • "Speculative trading in virtual currencies roils economic and financial order, spawns the risks of criminal activities such as illegal asset transfers and money laundering, and endangers people's wealth," the central bank said in a statement Monday, per Reuters.
  • Local Chinese authorities have shut down bitcoin mining operations at hubs throughout the country, Reuters writes.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 8, 2021 - Economy & Business

El Salvador's bitcoin experiment has rocky start after sell-off

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

It was a rocky start: Bitcoin suffered a disorderly sell-off on Tuesday, alongside most other cryptocurrencies, to mark the day on which it officially became legal tender in El Salvador, along with the more widely accepted U.S. dollar.

Why it matters: While a 17% daily swing is far from unprecedented for bitcoin, it's not the kind of thing most citizens want from their currencies. Neither is having a payments mechanism that can be unplugged by the government at will.

El Salvador buys 400 bitcoin ahead of making it legal currency

President Nayib Bukele in the Legislative Assembly building in San Salvador, El Salvador, in June. Photo: Camilo Freedman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

El Salvador bought its first 400 bitcoins on Monday, and President Nayib Bukele pledged to buy "a lot more" ahead of adopting the cryptocurrency as legal tender.

Why it matters: El Salvador will become on Tuesday the first country to formally adopt bitcoin — marking the "biggest test" the digital currency has faced in its 12-year history, per Bloomberg.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker