he value of digital currencybitcoincrashed on Thursday, falling by more than a fifth just as it appeared to be at an all-time high.

The price of onebitcoinabruptly fell from $1,161 (942) to $889 before it stabilised at around $950.

The crash came after the virtual currency passed the all-time closing high as recorded by Bloomberg, although different exchanges have recorded different figures for the record level.

The sudden drop may be related to recent attempts by Beijing to shore up the Chinese yuan, a move that tends to affect bitcoins price since most trading takes place in China. The yuan posted one of its biggest rises on record on Thursday due to strong economic data.

Breaking through the record high may have also seen trading thin out, leading to significant swings in its price. However, the drop had echoes of the previous slump in 2013, from which bitcoin has only just recovered.

The currency, which is supported by a central ledger known as the blockchain, is seen by its backers as a better monetary system, free from the control of central banks or transaction fees.

Its price rose dramatically during 2013 but plummeted after the collapse of its biggest online exchange Mt Gox. Its price fell from around $1,150 to $200 in early 2015 before a spectacular recovery in the last two years.

The loss is not too difficult for bitcoin traders to bear – it puts the currency back to where it was a week ago.

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