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Bitcoin had a solid start to 2021, hitting an all-time high of nearly $65,000 in April. But the digital coin closed out the first half of the year down about 47% from its record — and a number of looming risks could result in further pain ahead.

While proponents appear to be holding onto bitcoin for now, other investors are wary about wild volatility in the market and what it means for their portfolios. With that in mind, here are five of the biggest risks facing the cryptocurrency as we enter the second half of the year.


One of the biggest risks for bitcoin right now is regulation.

In recent weeks, China has clamped down on its cryptocurrency industry, shuttering energy-intensive crypto mining operations and ordering major banks and payment firms like Alipay not to do business with crypto companies.

Last week, the global crypto crackdown spread to the U.K., where regulators banned leading digital currency exchange Binance from undertaking regulated activities.

Simon Yu, co-founder and CEO of crypto cashback start-up StormX, told CNBC that China’s moves should be viewed as a “positive” thing for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like ether as it will lead to more decentralization. However, he added that “over-regulation” of crypto in the United States could be a problem.

“As a country, the U.S. has too many departments regulating it from different angles — is