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UPDATE 1-Fears of Biden tax blow leave cryptocurrencies Ether, Bitcoin on the ropes

Stanley White and Kevin Buckland
·1 min read

(Adds analyst comment, context)

By Stanley White and Kevin Buckland

TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency Ether pulled back sharply from a record high and rival Bitcoin also fell on Friday amid speculation that U.S. President Joe Biden's plan to raise capital gains taxes will curb investment in digital assets.

The drops came after Biden on Thursday unveiled a raft of proposed changes to the U.S. tax code, including a plan to nearly double taxes on capital gains to 39.6% for people earning more than $1 million.

But while social media lit up with posts about the plan hurting cryptocurrencies, and individual investors complaining about losses, traders and analysts said declines are likely temporary amid growing retail and institutional investor acceptance of digital currencies as a legitimate asset class.

"That's what everyone is talking about now," Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Markets Ltd, a foreign exchange broker based in Melbourne, said referring to the tax plan.

"And I think you may have some technical selling going through. Ether's been the poster child of movement. It has massively outperformed Bitcoin."

Ether plunged more than 10% to as low as $2,140, a day after climbing a record $2,645.97. It last traded down 6.5% at $2,243.95.

Bitcoin also weakened, falling 3.62% to $49,824.97.

(Reporting by Stanley White and Kevin Buckland; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Kenneth Maxwell)