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Bitcoin falls again, breaking below key $30,000 level that traders say could lead to more losses

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

The slump for bitcoin continued on Tuesday morning as the leading cryptocurrency fell below a key level and is trading at its lowest price since January.

Bitcoin was down 8% to $29,674.25, according to Coin Metrics. Traders had warned a break below $30,000 could lead to more losses.

Technical analysts had been watching the $30,000 level as a key support level on the charts after the cryptocurrency had fallen to near that low during its May crash. The analysts, who study charts to make buying and selling decisions, believe the next level to watch for support could now be as low as $20,000.

Now that it is approaching $29,000, the price of bitcoin is threatening to turn negative for the year.

Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that bitcoin could still rebound after Tuesday’s move but there was significant downside to the next support level.

“$30,000, we’ll see if it holds on the day. We might plunge below it for a while and close above it. If it’s really breached, $25,000 is the next big level of support,” Novogratz said. “Listen, I’m less happy than I was at $60,000 but I’m not nervous.”

The prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been battered in recent weeks by a stream of headlines out of China, where regulators have imposed new restrictions on energy-intensive mining and reiterated rules for financial firms about providing crypto services.

Environmental concerns have also become a new flashpoint for the asset class, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk suspending the use of bitcoin as payment for vehicles and saying that the pause would remain in effect until miners use more clean energy.

With Tuesday’s losses, bitcoin has slid about 54% from its all-time high of more than $64,000 in mid-April.

Other cryptocurrencies were also facing pressure, with ether falling 8% and dogecoin dropping more than 16%.

Significant pullbacks have happened before in the cryptocurrency market, with bitcoin falling about 80% from its late 2017 highs at one point. Professional crypto investors have warned that the space should continue to be volatile in the years ahead.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained more institutional support over the past two years, with major hedge fund managers and banks getting involved in the space.

The price of bitcoin rose nearly 500% between mid-September of last year and its April peak. Even with the recent decline, the cryptocurrency is still up about 150% over the past 12 months.

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Amazon hit with $888 million fine by EU privacy watchdog

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The Amazon logo displayed on a smartphone and a PC screen.

Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket via Getty Images

LONDON — Amazon has been issued with a $888 million fine by the European Union for breaching the bloc’s data protection laws.

The fine, disclosed by Amazon on Friday in a securities filing, was issued two weeks ago by Luxembourg’s privacy regulator.

It was accompanied by an order to revise certain undisclosed business practices.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

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Elon Musk’s Neuralink backed by Google Ventures, Peter Thiel, Sam Altman

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Elon Musk, Founder and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, speaks during the Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, DC, United States on March 9, 2020.

Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Elon Musk’s brain-machine interface company, Neuralink, has raised $205 million from investors including Google Ventures, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. 

The series C round, announced in a blogpost Thursday, was led by Dubai-based Vy Capital.

It comes two years after Neuralink raised $51 million. Total investment in the company now stands at $363 million, according to start-up tracker Crunchbase.

Founded in 2016, Neuralink is trying to develop high-bandwidth brain implants that can communicate with phones and computers.

The company is targeting its first devices at quadriplegics — who are unable to interact with many of today’s devices — and it is working toward human trials.

“The first indication this device is intended for is to help quadriplegics regain their digital freedom by allowing users to interact with their computers or phones in a high bandwidth and naturalistic way,” it wrote.

So far, the technology has been trialed on pigs and a monkey that was able to play the video game Pong with its mind.

The company said its first product, known as the N1 Link, will be “completely invisible” once implanted and transmit data via a wireless connection. Musk, who is CEO of Neuralink as well as Tesla and SpaceX, has previously described Neuralink as a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires that go into your brain.

“The funds from the round will be used to take Neuralink’s first product to market and accelerate the research and development of future products,” Neuralink said.

Keeping up with A.I.

Neuralink said Thursday that its mission is to “develop brain-machine interfaces that treat various brain related ailments, with the eventual goal of creating a whole brain interface capable of more closely connecting biological and artificial intelligence.”

AI is only going to get smarter and Musk has previously said that Neuralink’s technology could one day allow humans to “go along for the ride.”

People are in effect already “cyborgs” because they have a tertiary “digital layer” thanks to phones, computers and applications, he said during a Clubhouse discussion in February.

“With a direct neural interface, we can improve the bandwidth between your cortex and your digital tertiary layer by many orders of magnitude,” said Musk. “I’d say probably at least 1,000, or maybe 10,000, or more.”

The cortex is a part of the brain that plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. The digital layer he refers to could be anything from a person’s iPhone to their Twitter account.

Long term, Musk claims that Neuralink could allow humans to send concepts to one another using telepathy and exist in a “saved state” after they die that could then be put into a robot or another human. He acknowledged that he was delving into sci-fi territory.

Musk said the Neuralink device will be in

Neuralink demo

Several other companies are also developing brain-computer interfaces including Blackrock Neurotech, which has been backed by Thiel and his friend Christian Angermayer.

Elsewhere, scientists at the University of Melbourne have already had some success with brain-computer interfaces.

A study out of the university in October showed two humans controlling a computer through thought using a stentrode (a small stent-mounted electrode array) developed by Australian biotech firm Synchron without having to shave the skull and drill through it.

The stentrode brain-computer interface allowed two people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — a rare neurological disease — to type, text, email, do online banking and shop online through thought.

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Westbrook traded to Lakers in blockbuster deal

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Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards reacts prior to playing against the Denver Nuggets at Capital One Arena on February 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Will Newton | Getty Images

The Washington Wizards have agreed to send superstar Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers for three players and what was the number 22 pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, The Athletic and ESPN have reported.

In addition to the first-round pick, the Wizards are receiving Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell, per the reports.

With the number 22 pick Washington selected Isaiah Jackson, a shot-blocking center out of Kentucky but later traded him to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for the 31st pick and point guard Aaron Holiday – brother of NBA champion with the Milwaukee Bucks, Jrue.

At 31 the Wizards then selected Isaiah Todd, a 19-year-old power forward who chose forgo college and play in the NBA’s G-League, where he averaged 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Ignite.

The Wizards are also sending their 2024 second-round pick and 2028 second-round pick to the Lakers along with Westbrook, who is returning home to California. The Long Beach native played his college ball at UCLA before being drafted fourth overall in 2008.

Westbrook averaged a triple-double in 2020-21 with 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds in his first season with the Wizards. It was the fourth time in his career the point guard has averaged a triple-double for a season and he currently holds the all-time triple-double record with 184, having overtaken Oscar Robertson (181) in May.

The nine-time All Star, nine-time All-NBA selection and 2017 Most Valuable Player joins LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the newest ‘super team’ in the league. He also becomes the seventh former MVP to be acquired by the Lakers after Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, Karl Malone, Steve Nash and James himself.

In return, the Wizards get three players who combined to average 36.1 points per game in 2020-21.

Harrell, who was awarded Sixth Man of the Year in 2020, averaged 13.5 in his first season with the Lakers, while Kuzma averaged 12.9 and Caldwell-Pope 9.7 in their fourth seasons in L.A. All three players are still in their 20s.

Westbrook joins his third team via trade in three years – the first former MVP to do so – after spending 11 seasons of his NBA career in Oklahoma City. He holds career averages of 23.2 points, 8.5 assists and 7.4 rebounds.

A few hours after the trade was confirmed, the 32-year-old took to Twitter to share his appreciation for the Wizards franchise.

“Thank you DC! You welcomed my family and I with open arms from day one,” he wrote. “Everyone from the front office, to the training staff, the coaches, my teammates, and the fans. I’m grateful y’all took a chance on me and supported me every step of the way.”

“I’m blessed to have been a part of such a stand up organization. It didn’t take long to make a home in DC, and I will forever be grateful and appreciative of my experience with the organization. Thank you!”

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