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Digital currency ethereum crashes below $200 to hit 40-day low; down 50 percent since all-time high

  • One ether token hit an interday low of $192.22, according to industry and price tracking website Coinmarketcap, which takes into account the price on several exchanges.
  • The cryptocurrency has now fallen more than 50 percent since registering all-time highs of over $400 in early June.

Ethereum's price slipped below $200 for the first time since May 30, continuing its fall for a second consecutive session on Tuesday.

In the afternoon trade, one ether token hit an inter-day low of $192.22, according to industry and price tracking website Coinmarketcap, which takes into account the price on several exchanges.

The cryptocurrency has now fallen more than 50 percent since registering all-time highs of over $400 in early June.

The slip in ethereum's value coincides with a broader sell-off in the global cryptocurrency markets. However, despite the declines, the price of ether remains substantially higher over the course of the year. Ethereum has risen more than 2,000 percent from around $8 at the beginning of January.

The cryptocurrency saw significant fluctuations throughout the trading session on Tuesday, recovering from heavy losses in early morning deals to trade 11 percent lower at $198.14 shortly before 4 p.m. London time.

Both ethereum and bitcoin have hit record highs in recent months, with the latter moving almost 1 percent higher on Tuesday trading at $2,393, according to Coindesk.

Like bitcoin, ethereum is a cryptocurrency built on blockchain technology. It trades in digital tokens called ether.

What is ether?

Ether is the name of the cryptocurrency which runs on the ethereum blockchain, the technology that underpins the digital coin. But ethereum is often used as shorthand for the digital currency as well.

Ethereum has been designed to support so-called smart contract applications. A smart contract is a computer program that can automatically execute the terms of a contract when certain conditions are met. This use has excited many investors.

Ether is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, worth around $36 billion, according to Coinmarketcap, below bitcoin's $48.91 billion valuation.

— CNBC's Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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