Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, climbed somewhat from a decline below $3,500 over the weekend, which was its lowest level since Dec. 18.
According to MarketWatch, in trading on Monday (Jan. 14), bitcoin was at $3,543.80, marking a 0.7 percent increase from where it was trading on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. EST on the Kraken exchange. It reached a low of $3,480 over the weekend, with one analyst citing security worries for the decline.
“BTC, the flagship cryptocurrency, took a deep dive to 35, $3,500 that is, coincidentally in the wake of the 51 percent attack on the Ethereum Classic. These types of security breaches usually cause a drop in investor confidence,” wrote Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at Oanda, according to MarketWatch. “I don’t have a particularly exciting view of why this happens, other than to suggest investors start to think ‘if it can happen to A, it can happen to B and C,’ then people panic because someone big is selling to move the markets."
The attack, known as a 51 percent attack, enables hackers to reorganize the blockchain or replace it with their own blockchain. If the hackers are able to control most of the network, they can prevent confirmation of transactions on the blockchain and also reverse transactions, which would enable double spending. There are concerns that 51 percent attacks on the Ethereum Classic network could spread elsewhere, which is spooking investors more broadly and may have prompted the weekend sell-off.
The worries weighed on cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin over the weekend, but in trading Monday the token prices were stabilizing. MarketWatch reported that Ether was trading up 1.2 percent, while Litecoin was 0.9 percent higher, Bitcoin Cash was down 0.1 percent and XRP was 1.1 percent higher. The broad sell-off over the weekend resulted in the value of digital tokens falling below $120 billion to $118.6 billion, reported MarketWatch, citing CoinMarketCap.