HONG KONG, CHINA - FEBRUARY 15: Pedestrians walk past a display of cryptocurrency Bitcoin on February 15, 2022 in Hong Kong, China. Cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity worldwide as investors seek to diversify into the new asset class despite wild swings in the valuations of assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum in the first weeks of the year. Buying and selling crypto is becoming common in many places, like Hong Kong, where regulators have so far avoided using a heavy hand to manage crypto platforms. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Meltdowns in the cryptocurrency space are common, but the latest one has served as a vivid reminder that investors, both professionals and rookies, can be rolling the dice when putting money into digital assets. Over a recent two-month period, bitcoin lost nearly half its value and other cryptocurrencies fell even more. What’s more, one area of the cryptocurrency universe that is supposed to be less vulnerable to big swings suffered a spectacular collapse. Some investors took to online forums to share tales of decimated fortunes and even suicidal despair. With more and more investors showing interest in digital assets, Washington has been forced to pay attention.