Bitcoin plunges to nearly half the value of its 2021 high

This time, it's not Elon Musk to blame—it's China's crackdown on cryptocurrency mining

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      It's been a dismal month for Bitcoin investors.

      As of this writing, the world's best-known cryptocurrency is worth US$32,180.20.

      That's down 6.82 percent over the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk.

      What's worse has been the magnitude of the fall since mid-April, when it reached US$63,346.79.

      Since then, Bitcoin is down nearly 50 percent.

      The recent drop is being attributed to the Chinese government's crackdown on cryptocurrency mining.

      But the musings of Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also played a role in Bitcoin's volatility.

      Back in February, Tesla made a US$1.5-billion investment in Bitcoin, sending the cryptocurrency soaring. Then in March, the company said that customers could buy his electric vehicles with Bitcoins.

      But that same month, Musk insisted that the company had not sold any Bitcoin. But since then, he's expressed concerns about its environmental impact.

      More recently, he's also chatted up another cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, describing himself as its "former CEO" on Twitter.

      Dogecoin has also plunged over the past 24 hours, falling 21 percent to US$0.22.