Following yesterday’s widespread and significant drop across the entire cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin has settled below $5,600, the lowest price it has seen this year, and many altcoins have continued dropping.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down over 8% at its current price of $5,560, recovering slightly from its low point of $5,350, which as of now is BTC’s lowest price of the year. Bitcoin’s massive drop over the past couple of days has caused its market cap to fall below $100 billion to its current levels of nearly $97 million.
Following the drop, trading volume has continued rising, likely signaling that further volatility could be on the way. Prior to dropping yesterday, Bitcoin’s trading volume was stable around $4.4 billion, but it has since nearly doubled to its current levels of approximately $8.7 billion.
Altcoins Continue Falling
Bitcoin’s drop has led to significant declines amongst the altcoin markets, with many coins trading down nearly 20% yesterday.
At the time of writing, XRP is one of today’s best performing altcoins, currently trading up nearly 1% over a 24-hour trading period, with its current price showing relative stability at nearly $0.47.
The recent drop has led XRP to lows of $0.43, from which it has recovered. XRP’s good performance despite the drop has allowed it to claim the coveted number two spot in the crypto markets from Ethereum (ETH), which is currently behind XRP’s market cap by approximately $300 million.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH), is currently trading down over 5% at its current price of $430 despite today’s hard fork event. Clearly, investors are not that interested in the units resulting from this hard fork, as its price has been crashing ever since it reached highs of $635 in early-November.
Donald Bullers, the North American representative for Elastos, a blockchain-based security service, explained that BCH’s hard fork event may be partially to blame for the crypto markets poor performance, saying to MarketWatch that:
“Price volatility is not unusual in the crypto landscape—however, [Wednesday’s] dip is significant enough to prompt industry players to stop and take stock of the reasons why. It’s safe to say that Bitcoin Cash’s upcoming hard fork was stirring uncertainty amongst crypto investors, and forecasters across crypto and traditional markets alike have predicted a prolonged bear market heading into 2019.”
Brian Kelly, cryptocurrency enthusiast and analyst, expressed a similar sentiment while speaking on CNBC’s Fast Money, saying:
“When you do a software upgrade, everybody usually agrees. But in this particular case, everybody is not agreeing. So, we’ve got ourselves a crypto civil war.”
Kelly further added that downward spirals tend to perpetuate themselves.
“People started selling. That triggered stops. Everybody got concerned. And that’s what happened today — the entire market sell-down,” he said.
It is likely that the recent market carnage has significantly hampered the chances of an end-of-year rally, and the persisting bear market may continue well into 2019.
Related Reading: Tumultuous Crypto Market: Bitcoin Market Cap Finds YTD Low Under $100 Billion