There’ll be no TGIF from bitcoin and its brethren, it seems.
Cryptos of all stripes and sizes, from bitcoin to its lesser known peers, tumbled on Friday (Feb. 2) — and markedly so, as several plunged more than 20 percent. If intraday trading holds at these depressed levels, then the sector will see its worst week in roughly five years.
Reuters reported news early this morning that the marquee name in the sector — bitcoin, of course — slipped below $8,000, past what used to be a psychologically important threshold at the $10,000 level (itself breached just a few weeks ago). Bitcoin changed hands Friday at $7,910 and has lost 30 percent of its value in a week’s time.
Reuters noted that since 2011 and into today, bitcoin’s price has been cut in half nine times, but always recovered. The last time this happened was during the period between Nov. 2014 to Jan. 2015.
Investors are fleeing the volatile crypto sphere, as regulatory initiatives are taking shape around the globe that would put greater scrutiny on digital currencies, how and where they are trading, and might even lead to pockets of total restriction, depending on what country’s involved.
And so, the entire arena, as measured by market cap, now has been more than halved, standing at $385 million, as estimated by the newswire this morning, citing Coinmarketcap.com.
Bitcoin was not alone, with its largest peers — Ethereum and Ripple — down a respective 23 percent and 31 percent during the trading day.
In the latest regulatory salvos, India said it would, as Reuters termed it, “eradicate the use of crypto assets.” Those warnings take place alongside similar draconian talk in China and South Korea to curtail or ban trading. And then there was a hack to the tune of $530 million of a Japanese crypto exchange, Coincheck, this past week. Additionally, Facebook has said it will ban all crypto-related advertising.
A wild week, to be sure, with panic in the aisles. Might there be more in store?