Look away now if you own bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. This won’t be breaking news to you if you are invested, but today has seen the entire crypto market fall by double-digit percentages.
The price of bitcoin slumped by 15 percent to drop below $12,000 for the first time since December 4. Ethereum, meanwhile, fell by over 20 percent to hover above $1,000 and Ripple is down 33 percent to $1.23 at the time of writing.
The price drop is having a huge impact. According to Coinmarketcap.com, a site that is quickly becoming the go-to price checker, just one of the top 100 highest valued cryptocurrencies isn’t in the red over the past 24 hours. That’s Tether.
It’s a far cry from when bitcoin hit a record of close to $20,000 exactly a month ago on December 16.
Despite the drop, Ethereum, Ripple and the rest of the alt coins have largely fared worse than bitcoin.
The top 10 based on coin market caps…
Finally, a little green ink at number 25…
Like all things crypto price related, it isn’t clear what is driving the changes.
A Bloomberg report yesterday suggested that China is preparing to block domestic internet users accessing international bitcoin exchanges. The country banned Chinese exchanges and ICOs last year.
Last week, it emerged that the central government is working to drive out China’s bitcoin miners, who are thought to account for the majority on the planet. Many of the bigger names are already expanding overseas in preparation but the news jolted the market.
There’s also been plenty of speculation around Korea’s plans to regulate crypto, although the government has since clarified it doesn’t plan an all-out ban on bitcoin and crypto trading.
Crypto being crypto, there are some alternative theories, too.
We’ve been here before, of course — the headline to this story may seem familiar….
The crypto market suffered huge loses right before Christmas last month although most valuations had recovered since, such is the volatile nature of the space. That could yet happen following today’s slump. Indeed, some financial market watchers predicted prices could jump this week as Wall Street bankers collect their bonuses.
Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency, including ETH and BTC.