Online Platform eToro Called in Leveraged Crypto Trades When Bitcoin Price Peaked

A popular online brokerage abruptly curbed trading in cryptocurrencies just as bitcoin hit a record high, catching investors in one of the hottest corners of the market off guard. EToro, an Israel-based digital trading platform with global operations, told customers in Europe late Friday they had to close all margin trading in cryptocurrencies in a matter of hours, according to the company. Margin trades use borrowed money to amplify investments. The order came as bitcoin approached an all-time high of $41,962 on Friday, after more than tripling in 2020. Over the weekend, the world’s leading cryptocurrency went in reverse, shedding around a quarter of its value, and recently traded for $31,400, according to data from CoinDesk. The move by eToro shows the topsy-turvy world of cryptocurrencies, where rapid price swings—often with little or no catalyst—can surprise investors and brokerages that cater to them. With margin trading, as an asset’s value…

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