The year 2017 so far has been a pretty bumpy ride for bitcoin investors, and right now it looks like we’re ascending the latest hill in the roller coaster ride that is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
Last week, bitcoin looked to have recovered from a dramatic 17 percent loss in the wake of the SEC rejection of a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF). Within the first hour post-rejection, bitcoin plummeted from near-record highs around $1,300 down to $1,066, according to CoinDesk’s exchange. Other trackers pegged the low point even lower, well under $1,000.
But bitcoin quickly recovered, back above $1,200 just a few days later. That is until bitcoin took a St. Patrick’s Day nosedive. By Saturday, bitcoin was below $1,000 by all accounts. The low came on Saturday, bottoming out at $944.
Anyone else feeling a bit motion sick?
Bitcoin continued its bumpy ride through the past week, gaining some, then losing nearly as much. While prices are up from the latest nosedive, growth has largely been tempered. At the time of writing, one bitcoin was worth $1,036.89, down 0.05 percent from the end of trading on Wednesday and trending downward.
In the past few weeks, bitcoin traders have started sensing a growing likelihood that the bitcoin network could split into two competing digital currencies — a “hard fork.” Investor concern sparked high-volume trading — bitcoin in exchange for rival cryptocurrency ether — which led to bitcoin’s latest value woes.
“Bitcoin traders may have wanted to offset some of their exposure should a fork occur or the scaling deadlock continue, and ether seems to be the most promising alternative,” Aurélien Menant, founder and CEO of Gatecoin, told CNBC. “Bitcoin-ether volumes have surged since and are currently rivaling bitcoin-fiat currency trading liquidity.”