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Bitcoin plunges by a fifth

Bitcoin plunges by a fifth

LONDON (Reuters) - Digital currency bitcoin fell more than 20 percent in the space of four hours of trading on Thursday, putting it on track for its worst daily performance in nearly two years.

The web-based "cryptocurrency" had been on a tear for the two previous weeks, gaining more than 40 percent to hit a three-year high of $1,139.89 on Wednesday, just shy of an all-time high of $1,163 on the Europe-based Bitstamp exchange .

But it dived from around $1.1130 to a low of $885 in between 0925 and 1325 GMT (8:25 a.m. ET) on Thursday, leaving it at its weakest since Dec. 25.

(Reporting by Jemima Kelly, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)